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Road trip recipe: Sicilian Empanadas

Words by Romy Ash & Sarah Trotter Photograph by Lauren Bamford Styling by Sarah Trotter


Trust us, you don’t want to stop at Cracker Barrel or Burger King. Use our road-trip recipes to get yourself sorted before setting out.   

A traveler’s snack not only needs to be easily packable, it should also be satisfying. The journey ahead may be arduous. The traveler has total freedom, driving into the unknown, but within that freedom it’s comforting to know that lunch is taken care of. These Sicilian Empanadas can be baked the night before departure. The olive oil pastry is light and crunchy, and when broken open they’re a mouthful of lemony, smoky fish and broccoli. Perfect for a picnic by the roadside.

Recipe: Sicilian Empanadas

Ingredients (Dough)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (300 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) olive oil
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (200 milliliters) white wine, chilled
A large pinch of sea salt

Ingredients (Filling)
1 head broccoli, thick stem peeled and thinly sliced crosswise, head cut into small florets
8.75 ounces (250 grams) smoked trout, flesh gently torn into hunks, bones removed
10.5 ounces (300 grams) green Sicilian olives, pitted and cut in half
2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A large pinch of sea salt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients (Egg Wash)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons olive oil (10 milliliters) plus additional for brushing
Pinch sea salt

Method (Dough)
In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, salt and olive oil on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the wine and continue mixing until a ball of dough forms. Add more wine, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to make the dough cohesive. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to overnight.

Method (Filling)
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of water and the salt to boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by combining 4 cups ice and 6 cups water in a large bowl. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green but just tender, about two minutes. Drain and immediately place in prepared ice bath to stop the cooking. Once again, drain well. A salad spinner is a great tool to use to thoroughly dry the broccoli.

In a large bowl, gently mix the broccoli with the trout and olives until combined. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Method (Egg Wash)
When the dough is ready, unwrap it break it into 1.5 ounce/40 gram balls. On a clean, dry work surface, using a rolling pin, roll these out into thin circles. Alternatively, you can roll one large sheet and cut the dough using the edge of a 4-inch/10-centimeter glass, bowl or cookie cutter. Gather the dough scraps and repeat rolling procedure. You won’t need flour on your work surface or rolling pin as olive oil dough won’t stick.

Arrange the dough circles on your work surface and place a generous tablespoonful of the broccoli mixture toward one side of the circle. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil and salt. Brush a little of the egg wash on half of the edge of the circle, then fold the other side of the circle over to make a half moon-shaped pastry. Press the edges together with the back of a fork. Repeat procedure with remaining dough circles and filling.

Arrange empanadas on prepared baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before serving.

Makes 12 empanadas

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