I know, I know, I probably should have shared these vegetable empanadas on Tuesday as a final nod to Cinco de Mayo, but to be honest, I just wasn’t quite organized enough to make them in time. Plus I read somewhere that today is empanada day, so I’m obviously not the only one stretching the theme. Whoever it is that comes up with these days, that is. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make some empanadas for a while and these were certainly a great first go. The filling is more Greek in style than Spanish or South American, where empanadas generally originate, but that doesn’t stop it being delicious and hearty. And after all, so many countries have a version of small pies that I think anything goes.
Before I tell you more about making these empanadas, I have a couple of bits of news to share. First, I have the honor of co-hosting Fiesta Friday today which I am really looking forward to after I last did so a month or so back. There are always so many great recipes shared by those who take part, it’s a great place to get ideas. Do hop over and take a look, and if you are a food blogger, why not take part?
The other bit of news is that, while these empanadas are not exactly a ‘bun’, they are not such a bad representation of the shape of my belly right now as I guess it’s about time I shared the fact that I’m going to be having another little monkey join our brood in a few months time. I have been keeping our local stores in stock of grapefruit and mango as seems to be in the list of things I want to eat, and I suspect my various reminiscings of Spain and other places has been influenced by the coming changes. Anyway, putting aside the aches and pains that have started already, and the sickness that I am glad has largely passed, we’re looking forward to meeting our new addition later in the year. In the meantime, I hope to keep feeding the little one well, and not feeling too irked by what I’m not meant to eat as a result. At least now I can explain if I have some odd food cravings to share!
Anyway, back to the empanadas. First I’m really pleased with the pastry here. It is really easily whizzed up in the food processor, it’s easy to work with and comes out nicely crisp. The filling is also easy, just chop the potato, eggplant/aubergine and onion and roast them in the oven with some olive oil and oregano, then let it cool a little and add the feta. Putting the pie together might feel a little fiddly, but you soon get in the swing of it and the pastry is pretty forgiving in stretching slightly without cracking. They’re tasty, heartily filling and pretty healthy as well. They make a great snack, appetizer or lunch so are really versatile too. We just had them on their own, but they’d also work with a salad on the side and I’m sure a bit of tzatziki (like the one with my chicken gyros) on the side wouldn’t go amiss too. All in all, these are great and well worth a try, whether you’re eating for two or not.
Greek-ish vegetable empanadas
- 1 cup wholewheat flour 140g wholemeal flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour 140g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 oz unsalted butter 55g cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 tbsp cold water
- 6 oz eggplant 180g aubergine
- 10 1/2 oz potatoes 300g
- 1 onion small, or 1/2 large
- 1/2 tsp oregano oregano
- 3 oz feta cheese 85g
- Put the flours and the salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the egg, butter and oil and pulse until like small breadcrumbs.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is coming together in larger lumps. Remove from food processor, press together and cover and refrigerate for around 30min.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Dice the eggplant and potato into small pieces, approx up to 1/3in/1cm. Dice the onion to a similar size. Spread all on a baking sheet so they are in a single layer, toss with some olive oil and the oregano.
- Bake for around 10-15min until the potato is cooked and starting to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about as thin as you are comfortable with (around 1/8in/2-3mm) and cut out circles - I used my largest scone/pastry cutter which is about 2 3/4in diameter.
- Crumble the feta and add to the potato-eggplant mixture then spoon heaped spoonfuls of the mixture into the center of each pastry circle - they should look as if they'll be fairly full.
- Carefully pull together the sides of the pastry and use a little water to stick the edges together - this is easiest by bringing together at the middle then working to one side before then working back along the whole edge. If you like, crimp the edge as you go by gently pulling the underneath side over the edge and tucking in.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet and bake for approx 20min until the empanadas are starting to brown.
If you like empanadas, try these tasty variations: