When I began testing this recipe for my new cookbook Table for Two: Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1, the combinations of ingredients seemed endless (and they really are!). I finally settled on a selection of fresh herbs, apple, fragrant fennel and onions. To give it even more “body”, I added Gruyère cheese that I diced into very small cubes. This prevented the filling from getting too heavy with melted cheese, and instead created pockets of gently melted Gruyère that added the right amount of richness to the finished dish. Keep in mind, this recipe does make two larger portions, so I like to serve it alongside a salad dressed in my French Bistro Vinaigrette.
What I love most about this recipe is that you can interchange the fresh herbs and filling and have it adapt to be season specific. During the fall and winter, I like to use fresh sage and rosemary (a perfect vegetarian main course for the holidays!), and replace the parsnip with butternut squash. In the spring and summer, I love using basil and chives, and replace the apple with zucchini.
Like this recipe, so many other recipes from Table for Two are adaptable to help make entertaining as easy, elegant, and as truly delicious as possible, for you and your plus one!
Apple & Herb Wellington
Ingredients (serves 2)
Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons
Fennel – ¾ cup, ½-inch diced
Yellow Onion – 1 medium, ½-inch diced
Parsnip – 1 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced
Pink Lady Apple – 1 medium, ½-inch diced
Thyme – 2 teaspoons, finely minced, fresh
Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon
Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced
Parsley – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, Italian flat-leaf variety recommended
Whole Cashews – ⅓ cup, rough chopped
Golden Raisins - ⅓ cup
Parmesan Cheese – 2 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended
Gruyère Cheese – 3 ounces, ¼-inch cubed
Frozen Puff Pastry – 1 sheet, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
*Egg Wash – 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the fennel, onion, parsnip, apples, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender, but not brown.
3. Add the garlic and parsley and continue cooking for another 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, stir in the cashews, raisins, and both cheeses.
4. Next, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry dough to be roughly 12x14-inches. Cut the dough in half creating 2 pieces measuring 12x7-inces.
5. Divide the filling evenly onto half of each piece of dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Brush the border with egg wash*, and fold over top the other half of each side of the dough. Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges by of the dough by pressing the tines lightly into the dough. Do this on all three sides or each packet. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
6. Brush the tops with egg wash*. Using a small knife, cut three slits on the top of each packet.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.