Making your own home-made vegetable and quinoa-filled sausage rolls could not be easier*. (*Disclaimer: this is not actually true. They are fiddly, messy and time-consuming. But they will give you a noticeable glow when you offer them to friends or pop them in a school lunch box. We hope for your sake, that this is the day there’s a lunch box inspection.) You just have to steam the quinoa, soak and boil the chickpeas, roast the sweet potato, sweat down the vegies, dice the feta, form the whole thing into a neat log, cut it, eggwash it and bake it. Sweet as. This is a great recipe for adults and kids alike – it's interesting enough for sophisticated palates but the gentle, harmonious mix is a crowd-pleaser and won’t alert kids or other recalcitrants to the presence of alarmingly healthy ingredients like quinoa or spinach. And basically, you could wrap a brick in puff pastry, dish it up with tomato sauce and watch it get wolfed down. We promise, these are much, much nicer than that. Now that is the truth!
Makes 12 lunch-sized rolls
60 g quinoa
80g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (or just under 1 x 400g tin, drained)
80g sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 cm dice
2 tbs olive oil
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cm piece of ginger, grated
Pinch each of salt, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric and black pepper
60g baby spinach, shredded
120g feta, roughly chopped
2 eggs, whisked
1 tbs each coriander and parsley leaves, chopped
500g butter puff pastry
1 tsp poppy or sesame seeds, optional
Preheat oven to 200C.
Rinse the quinoa, measure it into a small saucepan and cover with twice as much water as quinoa. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down low, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and stand for 10 minutes, before fluffing with a fork. Cool.
Boil the chickpeas in unsalted water till soft (or use 1 x 400g tin, drained). Process roughly. Cool.
Toss sweet potato with the first amount of olive oil and salt and spread on a baking-paper lined tray and roast in the oven till golden and tender. Cool.
Turn oven up to 220C.
In a frying pan, heat the second olive oil amount and gently cook the onion, garlic and ginger with the salt and spices till soft. Cool.
In a mixing bowl, mix the quinoa, chickpeas, sweet potato, onion mix, spinach, feta, half of the beaten egg and herbs well, so that it’s a homogenous whole. If you’re not spooked by raw egg, taste for seasoning and adjust.
Lay sheets of puff pastry on a work surface, one at a time. If they are square, cut in half lengthways.
In the centre of each sheet of pastry, form a sausage of about 4 cm diameter of the filling. Brush water on the outside edge of each sheet and roll tightly into a neat sausage. Cut across the middle in two, giving two lunch sized rolls (or cut into 6 for snack-sized rolls).
Continue, till you’ve completed all the rolls and pastry.
Lay the sausage rolls onto baking-paper lined baking trays, brush with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if wished.
Bake until puffed and golden – about 20 minutes.
Cool slightly before dunking in tomato or chilli sauce.