Delicious any time of day!
I am a big fan of puff pastry and always have some in the freezer, ready to be thawed and transformed into a flaky, sweet or savoury dish. Note that it’s easy to vary the vegetables in this recipe if you wish and you can also just omit the chicken for a vegetarian version. If you’re looking for a sweet alternative, check out this strawberry-cream cheese strudel or this apple pie strudel.
- 6 stalks asparagus
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
- Few pinches flour, for dusting pastry
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, divided
- 1/2 cup (50 g) sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup (26 g) sliced onion
- 1/2 cup (46 g) slivered red pepper
- 1 cup (135 g) shredded cooked chicken
- 3 tablespoons (43 g) mayonnaise or creamy salad dressing (I used Caesar)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup (120 g) shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese, divided
- Handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cold water
- If planning to bake immediately after assembling, preheat oven to 425F.
- Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and place them in a single layer in a casserole dish or large skillet. Cover with boiling water and place a lid over top. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until the stems are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from hot water and run under cold water. Dry with a kitchen towel and set aside.
- Prepare pastry by rolling out lightly floured puff pastry dough between two sheets of parchment paper to form a rectangle slightly larger than 8 x 10 (20 x 25 cm) inches. Place pastry, still resting on bottom sheet of parchment, on a baking tray, with a short side closest to you.
- Starting at bottom right corner of pastry, using a sharp knife, cut 3-inch lines from the outside edges towards the centre of the pastry, about 1 inch apart (see first picture below). Refrigerate pastry until ready to assemble the strudel.
- In a skillet placed over medium-high heat, melt half the butter. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 3 – 4 minutes, until golden brown on the cut edges. Add remaining butter and reduce heat to medium. Add onion and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
- Place shredded cooked chicken in a medium sized bowl. Add mayonnaise or creamy salad dressing and stir to blend well. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper then stir in cooked vegetables. Set aside.
- To assemble, sprinkle half of the grated cheese down the centre of the puff pastry (the part without the slits). Spread the chicken evenly over the cheese then lay the basil leaves on top. Spread the vegetable mixture over the basil then place the asparagus spears on top, cutting if needed so they are evenly distributed over the filling. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Fold the strips of pastry over the filling at a bit of an angle, alternating left and right and overlapping slightly (see third picture below). The filling may peek out a bit, and that’s ok. At this point, you can cover the unbaked strudel with beeswax or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
- When ready to bake, beat egg yolk and cold water together, then brush over the prepared pastry.
- Bake 30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on the outside. Let cool 3 minutes before slicing and serving, with lemon wedges on the side.