We’ve posted several empanada recipes here in the past (aji de gallina, gluten-free, cream cheese and apricot). But we haven’t posted the most typical ones (this has not been intentional), which include the classic empanada filled with minced meat and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, and several vegetarian empanadas, usually filled with cheese, spinach, or artichokes. My favorite, hands down, is the artichoke empanada, which is not filled with artichoke pieces, but with an intensely flavored artichoke paste instead. Today I made this for the first time, and I didn’t follow any particular recipe. Instead, I let my intuition guide me to recreate the flavor I enjoyed so many times, growing up in Lima.
I added some grated Parmesan cheese for creaminess, and sauteed onion, garlic, and oregano for taste. I also used sprouted whole wheat flour instead of white flour, simply because I don’t use refined flours if I can avoid it. But you can decide which flour to use for yourself.
I made all the stuffing in this recipe, but only half the dough, so I have quite a bit of stuffing left in the fridge. I already have several ideas of what I could do with it. Either I’ll use it as a dip for crackers or veggies, or I’ll stuff ravioli, tequeños, or a vegetarian lasagna with it. I could even add it to some quinoa, for an improvised artichoke quinotto.
- For the dough***
- 2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 12-ounce jars artichokes
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
- Mix the flour and salt. Add the butter, in small pieces, and start kneading it quickly with your hands.
- Add the water, and keep kneading until the dough is uniform, and it doesn't stick to your fingers anymore.
- Put it in a sealed container, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the filling:
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, and saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until golden (about 5 minutes).
- Process the onion, garlic, artichokes, and cheese in a food processor, and season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
- When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Flour a clean surface on your kitchen counter, and divide the dough in 8 pieces.
- Roll one piece at a time, until you make a circle of about 4 inches in diameter. The dough should be about ⅛-inch thick. You can put a cup of about that size (4 inches) on top of the rolled dough, and cut around it with a knife to get perfect circles.
- Put 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of the circle, and then fold the circle in half, pressing the edges with your fingers, and being careful so that the filling doesn't seep out through the sides.
- Press the edges with the tip of a fork to create indentations.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough. You will have some dough left from each circle you cut, so keep making circles with this extra dough, until you use it all.
- Beat an egg in a cup, and add 1 tablespoon of water.
- Use a pastry brush to paint the surface of each empanada with a thin layer of this egg wash.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool a little bit before serving.
How about you? What would you use the leftover filling for?