Mary Berry's Spinach and Mushroom en Croûte

Mary Berry's vegetarian version of an en croûte is packed with spinach and mushroom and would be the perfect alternative to a nut roast this Christmas.

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Introduction

Whether it’s on a buffet table or at a supper party, vegetarians will love this. Be sure to buy all-butter puff pastry, as it has a much better flavour than other kinds and is a little softer to handle. If you are serving large numbers, make multiple en croûtes – never make an en croûte larger than for 12, as the pastry may split. Serve with dressed salad leaves.

 

Serves 6 or 12.

Ingredients

To serve 6:
1 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
150g (5½oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
225g (8oz) baby spinach
125g (4½oz) ricotta
75g (2½oz) Gruyère, grated
1 egg yolk
dash of Tabasco
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a little plain flour, to dust
½ x 500g packet ready rolled all-butter puff pastry (freeze the other half for another occasion)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
To serve 12:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250g (9oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
450g (1lb) baby spinach
200g (7oz) ricotta
175g (6oz) Gruyère, grated
1 egg
dash of Tabasco
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a little plain flour, to dust
375g packet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7) and put a baking sheet in the oven to get hot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion, and fry for 2 minutes. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and spinach and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have softened. Set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile, put the ricotta, Gruyère, egg yolk (whole egg for 12), and Tabasco into a bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix until combined. Stir into the cold spinach mixture.

4. Lay the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a 28 x 33cm (11 x 13in) rectangle (33 x 38cm/13 x 15in rectangle for 12).

5. Pile the spinach mixture into the middle, leaving a 4cm (1½in) gap around the edge. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, then fold the ends over the fi lling and bring the sides up so they meet at the top. Crimp the ends together to seal, then brush the pastry with egg.

6. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes (45 minutes for 12) or until golden all over. Leave to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes, then slice and serve hot.

IN THE AGA:

Sit the en croûte on a cold baking sheet and bake on the floor of the roasting oven for 25–30 minutes.

PREPARE AHEAD:

The en croûte can be made up to the end of step 5 up to 8 hours ahead. Not suitable for freezing.

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