Emma Button blogs at www.mellowmummy.co.uk where she shares her tales of how to remain cool, calm and collected despite the pressures of parenthood. Emma is passionate about fabulous food for kids and shares many of her recipes for cookery with toddlers and young children on her blog. You can find Emma on Facebook and twitter.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 4)
1 pack of ready-rolled puff-pastry (300-400g approx.)
½ 400g tin chopped tomatoes (save the rest for another day)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Approx. 125g mature cheddar cheese, grated.
Fresh Mediterranean vegetables such as courgette, cherry tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms (we also used sweetcorn and celery) sliced finely.
A few sprigs of fresh basil.
- Pre-heat your oven to approximately 200 degrees (follow the recommendations on your packet of ready-rolled puff-pastry).
- Cut the sheet of pastry into four rectangles and place them onto well-oiled baking trays. Don’t be tempted to use greaseproof paper, in my experience it ALWAYS sticks to puff pastry!
- Gently score a rectangle about 2.5cm all the way around each of the slices and make sure that your knife does not cut all the way through the pastry. This will rise to form the sides of your pastry slices.
- Your children can use a fork to make indentations into the rectangle at the centre of each slice. This helps to stop the pastry from rising underneath all of the toppings. At this point you can, optionally, pop the pastry slices into the hot oven for 5 minutes to give the pastry a head start and help to prevent a ‘soggy bottom’.
- Get your children to spread the chopped tomatoes onto each of the pastry slices – it doesn’t matter if they go over the edges of the rectangle!
- Now layer up the vegetables. Try to put the veggies that require most cooking at the top of the pile.
- Brush on a little sunflower oil around the bare edges of each pastry slice.
- Sprinkle on the grated cheese and finish off with a few leaves of fresh basil.
- Put the pastry slices into the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes (it is best to follow the guidelines on the pastry packet) and cook until the pastry is well-risen and golden around the edges and the cheese has started to brown.
- Serve hot with a salad or coleslaw. When cut into thin slices, these make a great finger food for toddlers too (but be warned… they can be messy!).
For more ideas of fun cookery activities for kids, check out the Mellow Mummy Cooking with Kids recipe page.