Blue Cheese Turnovers with Lentils, Chestnuts and Root Vegetables
Pairs Well With
2 cups all-purpose flour
7/8 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water or milk
A pinch of salt
Egg wash (one egg beaten with milk)
1 large onion peeled and thinly sliced
½ pound exotic mushrooms, washed and coarsely sliced
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled or cut into small cubes
3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 leaves sage, thinly sliced
¼ cup red wine
¼ of a vegetable stock cube
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ pound chestnuts, shell scored in crisscross on one side
½ cup Puy (green) lentils
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, peeled and finely diced
1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 small turnip, peeled and medium dice
1 small beet, peeled and medium dice
½ small celery root, peeled and medium dice (reserve remainder to garnish celery salad)
1 cup vegetable stock
3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ pound greens of your choice (chard, kale, spinach or the like), washed and coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
THE DAY BEFORE:
Place flour, butter and salt into food processor; pulse until consistency of course sand. Pulse again while drizzling in olive oil, then pulse while very slowly adding water/milk until a ball forms. The pastry should be tacky but not wet, firm but not dry. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Place a heavy-bottom sauce pan over medium-high heat. After 30 seconds, add butter; when brown and frothy, add onions, mushrooms, herbs, stock cube and red wine. Stir well then cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook covered, occasionally stirring, for 30-45 minutes, until mixture is reduced and caramelized. Check the seasoning and correct to taste. Remove from heat, cool, then mix in the blue cheese; refrigerate overnight.
Roast in preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, let cool enough to touch, then peel. Cut into a large dice.
THE DAY OF SERVING:
Place a heavy-bottom sauce pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, shallots, carrot and celery. Sweat the vegetables until soft. Add the lentils, root vegetables, chestnuts, thyme and cumin. Sweat all together for a minute, then add vegetable stock, cover and allow to cook. Ten minutes before the lentils are tender, add the greens and stir in. When the lentils are soft, adjust seasoning and remove from heat.
While the lentils are cooking, remove pastry from the fridge and let it warm to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When the pastry is malleable, roll it out to a ¼ inch thickness and cut 4- to 6-inch circles. Split the filling between the circles leaving a ½ inch perimeter around the edges. Fold in half over the filling, then crimp the edges shut. Make a small slash on the top of the turnovers and brush with egg wash. Place the turnovers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown. Let stand for five minutes before serving.
This recipe was created by local chef Loren Ettinger. Even though this recipe requires substantial preparation, I can personally attest to its deliciousness, especially when paired with our 2010 Meredith Estate.