Ms. Fancy Pants

July 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm 10 comments

Vegetables and Gravy in Pastry Boxes

First, before we go any further, let me reassure you that this dish is really quite easy to make.  I swear!  That being said, it’s one of the most impressive plates I’ve put on the dinner table recently.   I had a big grin on my face, feeling all fancy and such.  Even D raised an eye brow and commented on how nice it looked (he rarely notices presentation).

Swiss chardzucchini
String beansVegetables cooked

Indeed, it looked like something from the best restaurant in town.  Tasted fantastic too, but that’s no surprise since it’s hard to go wrong with flaky buttery pastry encasing a melody of picked-that-day vegetables and herbs in gravy.  I was just a teeny bit tickled with myself too for coming up with such a great way to use up my onslaught of string beans.

Scoring the pastry 

Golden pastry boxes

If you have a dinner party coming up, these vegetable pastry boxes would be ideal.  You can prepare the pastry and chill it for up to several hours.  You could also pre-cook the vegetables and chill them.  When it comes time for the guest to arrive, pop the pastry into the pre-heated oven and simmer the vegetables with the gravy in a large skillet until the pastry boxes are ready.  Assembly takes only a minute or two, letting you enjoy time with your guests while still impressing them with a hot main course straight out of the oven!


My only regret was not making more, since we polished off the four pastry boxes between us in no time flat.  Good thing these were made at home, as we probably would have embarrassed ourselves in a fancy restaurant.  While I don’t repeat recipes often in my kitchen for love of constantly trying something new, this particular recipe – or preparation actually since it’s so easy – will be making a return to the dinner table to use up more of my garden bounty over the summer.  

Vegetables spilling out

Vegetables and Gravy in Pastry Boxes
Loosely adapted from Vegetarian: the best-ever recipe collection

8 oz. (1 sheet) puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
1 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. fresh beans snapped into small pieces
2 large carrots, cut into thin medallions
1 small zucchini, cut into small chunks
1 small bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped
2 sorrel leaves (optional), finely chopped
5 or 6 chives, snipped into little pieces
1 t. fresh finely chopped rosemary
1 t. fresh marjoram leaves, stems removed
1 t. fresh dill
Salt and pepper
1 can of mushroom or other gravy
½ C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F and lightly grease a baking sheet.  Lay the pastry sheet out flat and sprinkle with Parmesan, pressing it lightly into the dough with your fingers.  Cut pastry into four equal squares.  Lift the rectangles on to the baking sheet.

With a sharp knife, cut an inner square about a half inch from the pastry edge, cutting halfway through.  Score a criss-cross pattern on the inner square.  Spray the tops of the pastry squares lightly with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and risen. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil.  Add the carrots and beans and cook for five minutes.  While those cook, heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the zucchini, chard, and herbs until tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain the carrots and beans and add them to the skillet.  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Stir in the gravy and heat through. 

Using a sharp knife, remove the notched squares from the pastry boxes.  Set the “lids” aside.  Spoon the vegetables into the pastry boxes and sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella.  Place a “lid” on top of each filled box and garnish with some herbs.  Serve immediately.

(serves 4)

Vegetable Pastry Boxes with Gravy

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , .

Close Call An Honest Recipe

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christine  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    These are adorable! I love the idea of serving dinner in a box. What does sorrel taste like?

  • 2. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver  |  July 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Wow, those pastry boxes are the bestest! ;D

  • 3. Jennie  |  July 25, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Sorrel’s got a lemon peppery taste a bit like arugala. I use it most in salads but occasionally like to sneak it into other dishes in a similar way as I would an herb. 🙂

  • 4. bermudaonion  |  July 26, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    The pictures on your blog are beautiful.

  • 5. VegeYum Ganga  |  July 27, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    The boxes look so delicious. And the veggies with mushroom gravy – inspirational. I love the pics of the carrots.

  • 6. Kiki  |  July 27, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Looks fantastic! My husband absolutely loves pot pies in the winter and this would be a great thing to serve the filling in!

    Photography is excellent as usual 🙂

  • 7. Cindy  |  July 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    It’s like a traditional Taiwanese treat,
    Just the stuffing is a little bit different!

  • 8. [eatingclub] vancouver || js  |  July 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Wow, this looks absolutely amazing. Fabulous presentation: sophisticated, elegant, yet rustic at the same time. What a dish.

  • 9. adelphos24  |  August 30, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    That looks delicious.
    I’m already thinking up variations on the filling to try at home.
    Beautiful dish.

  • 10. Santé Magazine « Straight from the Farm  |  January 12, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    […] PDF of it, or else you would have seen it much sooner.  The recipe these photos were shot for was Vegetables and Gravy in Pastry Boxes.  Link to the full magazine article is here.  Thanks to the editors of Santé for featuring my […]


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