less than 30 mins
By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen
- 1 head garlic
- drizzle olive oil
- 300g/10½oz ready-made puff pastry sheet
- 100g/3½oz baby spinach
- 1 whole Baron Bigod (or camembert), approx. 250g/9oz
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 2 free-range eggs, 1 whole and 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 50g/1¾oz watercress
- 2 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the whole garlic bulb and leave the skin of the individual cloves intact. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until softened. Remove and set aside.
Turn the oven up to 210C/190C Fan/Gas 7. Cut the puff pastry into 2 squares about 5cm/2in bigger than the whole cheese and place one of them on a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
Prepare a pan of boiling water and a bowl of ice cold water. Blanch the spinach for about 30 seconds, then transfer to the cold water. Drain the spinach, squeeze out any remaining liquid and pat dry.
Place about half of the drained spinach on the base of one of the sheets of pastry, leaving a border around the outer edge so you can seal the pithivier later. Lay the cheese on top of the spinach. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the roasted garlic skins, mash them to a paste, then spread this mixture over the top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and grind over some black pepper, then cover with the rest of the spinach.
Brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg, and lay the second layer of pastry over the top of the cheese. Trim the edges and crimp with a fork if you like. Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg. Score the pastry lightly to decorate and brush with another layer of egg wash when the first layer has dried. Bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden-brown.
Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper to make a dressing, and dress the watercress and Little Gem leaves in a large salad bowl. Cut the pithivier into slices and serve with the dressed green salad.