I love evenings where there are lots of little things to taste or order from a menu. These Cheese Cigars ar perfect for serving as canapés at parties (prepare and freeze in advance) or you can make them bigger* for light bites. You can even use the mixture to spread over a sheet of puff and serve it as a tart. Feel free to swap around the cheeses- blue cheese in place of the feta is particularly nice. Any extra filling can be used for cheese on toast- so you don’t feel the need to tuck in food for your guests.
2 (250g/9oz) sheets of puff pastry (total of 500g) each rolled into 40 x 30 cm rectangles
250g/ 9 oz/ 1 cup ricotta cheese
50g/ 2 oz ½ cup parmesan cheese
85g/ 3oz/ ½ cup feta cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives or herb of choice
paprika, sesame seeds or poppy seeds to garnish, optional
1/ Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Slice the pastry into rectangles measuring 10 x 5 cm.
2/ Mix together all of the cheeses, the egg and chives and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3/ Working one at a time, face the rectangles with one of the long ends towards you. Place a teaspoon of cheese mixture in a log shape in the lower third of each rectangle. Leave a little space at each end. Dip a finger in water or use a pastry brush to lightly wet the edges of the pastry. Fold over the short edges, then using the long edge closest to you roll over the pastry and pinch to seal with the two long edges overlapping. If you do not seal them well, they will burst open during baking. Repeat with the other cigars.
4/ Place on baking tray, lightly brush with water and sprinkle over optional toppings. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
* If you’re making these for a light meal, cut the pastry sheets into rectangles 10cm x 15cm (each sheet will have 6 rectangles) Use a rounded tablespoon of filling for each cigar. You will need 1kg of pastry divided into 4 sheets (rolled 40 x 30 cm) to use up all of the filling. This will make 24 total. Serve with a watercress salad to cut through the richness.