Salty feta, juicy zucchini and spicy pink peppercorns baked into a buttery soft savory swirl. Easy savory treat or appetizer recipe packed with flavor.
How do you come up with ideas to bake and cook something new? Nowadays I have this methodology to how I develop most of my recipes. Usually I see something seasonal in the grocery store or an ingredient in my kitchen that I haven’t used for a while and start thinking about what non-boring ingredient would go well with it.
Like today, when I remembered that I had an unopened pack of pretty pink peppercorns that I had been wanting to use. If you haven’t tried these cute pink pops of color before, here’s an easy recipe to get you two acquainted. Pink peppercorns have so much more flavor than the usual black pepper, and the taste is almost fruity and not as sharp as its black relative. The tiny pink flakes give a surprising twist to these delicious savory swirls, packed with lovely herbs and strong flavors.
These savory pastries have the most decadent and addictive filling ever – I had to put some in the freezer right after baking to stop myself from inhaling the whole batch. Salty feta cheese, sweet shallots and juicy zucchini form the glorious trio that the pink peppercorns spice up beautifully. Just crush the peppercorns with a flat knife to avoid getting a mouthful of whole peppers in the swirls.
This is a super easy and quick recipe for perfect savory treats to offer guests or to take to work as a light lunch. The dough is a buttery soft yeast dough, but it is only risen once. A real time-saver! And did I mention that the dough is so pliable that you won’t even need a rolling pin? Less dishes to clean up too! Now go and bake yourself to pink peppercorn heaven.
Feta Zucchini Swirls with Pink Peppercorns
For the dough:
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2 sticks butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg for brushing
For the filling:
- 1 cup zucchini finely diced
- 2 small shallots finely diced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup feta cubed
- handful fresh arugula roughly chopped
- First, make the filling. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and add the finely diced zucchini and shallots. Add parsley, basil, oregano and crushed pink peppercorns. Fry until translucent and fragrant, but not brown. Remove from heat and add the cubed feta and arugula. Mix to combine and set aside.
- Measure the flour into a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and pinch it into the flour until you have crumb-like texture. Pea-sized clumps are fine.
- Dissolve the yeast into warm milk in a bowl. Add sugar and salt to the milk, mix. Add to the flour bowl and mix until you have an even consistency.
- Flour a working surface and pat the dough into a rectangle shape, roughly 10 x 15 inches in size. Spread the filling evenly on the dough and roll it into a tight log starting from the longer side, finishing with the seam down against the table.
- Cut into ½ inch pieces if you put them cut side up on the baking sheet, slightly thicker if you want them “standing up” to prevent falling down in the oven. Place pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Brush tops with lightly whisked egg and bake for around 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are light golden brown.