le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mini Rosemary Shortbreads

These mini shortbreads are easy to make and keep for up to a fortnight in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can freeze them for a month, giving them a quick crisp-up in the oven the day you need them.

The recipe comes from a book called 'canapés' which we use frequently when doing Loire wine tastings at le tasting room. I often fiddle with recipes and this one is very adapatable, depending for example upon what herbs you have in the garden, in the cupboard.

60g (2oz) plain flour
salt, cayenne pepper
45g (1 half oz) cold butter, diced
60g (2oz) parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Put the flour, a pinch of salt and cayenne, butter, parmesan and the rosemary (or any additional flavouring you are adding), into a food processor. Pulse to form a smooth dough (I find it stays in crumbs so bring it together by hand). Roll it out on a floured surface and cut into tiny rounds with a pastry cutter (I don't have a tiny one so use an upside down egg cup). Place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper/baking parchment and chill for half an hour before baking in the oven at 180C, 350F Gas 4 for about 8 minutes (or until golden brown).
Cool completely on a wire rack before adding your topping.

For the topping - you can use a variety of things depending upon the flavouring in the shortbreads. I use a parsley pesto made by taking a handful of parsley and hand chopping it before adding it to the pestle and mortar together with a large tablespoon of pine nuts, a small clove of garlic and a little salt. After crushing this I add a tablespoon of grated parmesan and just enough olive oil to slacken it without it becoming too loose (it needs to hold on the biscuits). A tiny teaspoon of this with a little morsel of goats cheese on top makes a great combination.

Other ideas for toppings
Roasted cherry toms and feta
Roasted peppers
Caramelised onions

For the shortbread biscuits - try adding a teaspoon of chopped black olives, sundried tomatoes, or fresh thyme to the base.

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