Pastry wrapped around a filling is a winning combination in basically every form, and one of the most successful and persistent in the UK has always been the humble sausage roll, recently “discovered” by Americans calling it a “puff dog.” Whether from Gregg’s, a nice old pub, or at a brilliantly beige buffet spread at a children’s party, it feels ubiquitous. For vegetarians, the cheese and onion roll is a suitable alternative, however this rather leaves those wanting a totally animal-free option in the lurch. While I’m no doubt the first to think of this, and there are probably many other recipes like this out there, here is at least my offering. The intensely umami richness of the roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes works brilliantly as an alternative to sausage meat, and the basil brings in a nice freshness to the proceedings.
We’re lucky in the UK that most shop-bought pastry is already made vegan! I only ever use shop bought, having no real love of baking. If you don’t have these options at your disposal, I’m afraid I can’t tell you how to make vegan puff pastry, but a quick look on Google will no doubt help you.
- Vegan puff pastry, rolled to around 3mm.
- 2-3 bulbs of garlic
- Sundried tomatoes plus oil that it’s stored in
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- Slice the top of the bulbs of garlic off so that you slightly expose the very tips of the cloves. Place on some tin foil and drizzle with a little oil, before wrapping the tinfoil around to make a scrunched parcel of sorts. Roast in the oven at 200C for at least an hour, ideally 90 minutes. After this time, lay the bulbs on their side and crush under the flat of a large knife. The softened garlic paste within will be expelled, at which point you can dispose of the empty husks and scrape the paste into a bowl.
- Apply 1-2tsp of the garlic paste to the rolled pastry and spread from one edge to the other, and around 2 inches wide. Top this with a line of basil, then sundried tomatoes, trying to keep the coverage even.
- Using both hands, grab the edge of the pastry and roll it over itself once, encasing the line of garlic, basil and tomatoes. Gently press down, sealing the pastry and then slice off the cigar that you have made. Remove it from the rest of the pastry and slice into the size you would like. I tend to cut each roll into 8 pieces for finger food style. Repeat the process until you have no more pastry left.
- Paint the top of the rolls with a little sundried tomato oil and freshly ground black pepper, then place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, at 180C. Leave to cool, then serve!