Tuna, leek and mushroom plait


tuna leek plait

Apologies for the terrible quality of the photos on this one, I made it a while ago now, it was late in the day and my phone struggled to cope with the lack of light. Also hunger meant I failed to create interesting and artistic arrangements for the final shot. You’ll have to take my word for it that the smell was so good that the instinct to eat overtook everything else, and this photo was a bit of an ‘oops’ after thought. Just keeping it real!

I have made this recipe a few times now, and it is a winner. Tuna and leeks wrapped in puff pastry, a good comforting, homely dish. And pretty easy and forgiving, even if the pastry isn’t wrapped that well, it still turns out fine once baked.

Instructions:

Take 1 large leek, or a couple of smaller ones and slice a knife vertically down the shaft. Wash thoroughly under a running tap to remove any dirt between the layers. Slice into thick rounds and then sauté gently in a pan with a little butter and oil. Slice a handful of mushrooms, add these to the leeks and continue to cook over a gentle heat until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and stir in one tin of drained tuna.

puff pastry sheet

Take 1 sheet of puff pastry, or if using a block, roll it out into a rectangle. Measure the width of the pastry and divide it into 3, then with a knife gently score lines down the width to make 3 sections. It helps to be fairly accurate with this bit.

plait in progress

Place the leek mixture onto the middle section of the pastry, leaving an inch or so at the top and bottom. Then cut diagonal lines from the middle outwards on the outside sections, as shown. The top and bottom diagonals can be cut off altogether. Brush the outside areas of pastry with a little beaten egg.

Fold the top and bottom bits over the leek mixture, and then fold over a strip from one side and then a strip from the other side, alternately, tucking the final ones underneath if there’s excess. You can ease the pastry into place here and there to cover any gaps. This process is a little bit trial and error. I managed it perfectly the first time I did it, and then this time it went slightly awry, but don’t worry too much, like I say it still looks great once baked.

plait pre-baked

Finally brush the whole thing with more beaten egg, transfer to a baking tray (sometimes easier to start it off on one) and bake in a moderate oven for around 40 mins or until golden brown.

You can adapt the ingredients of this to pretty much whatever you fancy, or just needs using up in the fridge. Always worth keeping some puff pastry in the freezer!

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