One of the rather silly side-effects of being exposed to toddler culture on a daily basis is the slew of brand new and only marginally useful cultural references that one obtains from Elmo, Curious George and Caillou, along with many books, toys and macaroni and cheese boxes geared towards the 2-5 set. In case you are still one of the lucky ones who cannot recite Elmo’s Families, Mail and Bath Time dvd by heart, allow me to introduce you to a very special character named Texas Telly, and his search for the Golden Triangle of ….DESTINY.
Texas Telly is, as you may have gathered, an Indiana Jones-type adventurer in search of a beautiful, bejeweled triangle (with THREE sides, naturally) that is rumored to be hidden somewhere on Sesame Street. Although his quest for the Golden Triangle of Destiny only lasts about 23 minutes, he manages to discover many other shapes with various numbers of sides along the way, before finally uncovering the triangle at the Laundromat, underneath a seat cushion– after a close encounter with a dangerous bottle of fabric softener.
The first five or ten times my husband and I saw the Texas Telly episode, we found it cute and pretty amusing. By now however, like most of my daughter’s small dvd collection, The Golden Triangle of Destiny has seeped into our subconscious and lodged itself into the little place in our brains where the word for that ubiquitous three-sided shape is kept, for all eternity. And that is why these triangle-shaped turnovers never had the chance to be simple, normal (albeit, tasty) little pockets of onions, carrots, zucchini and herbs, but immediately became something much more grand, fabled and sought-after by red furry puppets everywhere: Triangle Turnovers of Destiny.
This recipe was adapted from the Esalen cookbook and is very flexible in terms of what you choose to fill it with. As long as you stick to vegetables that are not too wet or saucy, the following list of ingredients can be changed to suit your taste, or what’s available at your local market.
Provencal Veggie Turnovers
makes 8 turnovers
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 cups grated parmesan (optional– I did not use cheese, but instead made a spicy mayo dip to accompany these)
1 box of puff pastry (slightly defrosted, so it’s pliable), cut into 8 equal squares
Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in very hot water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and chop into thin strips, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes (if the onion is browning or burning, lower the heat. Add carrots and cook for another few minutes before adding zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, add the sun-dried tomato strips and cook for a minute or two more.
Remove pan from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs, salt, pepper and cheese, if using.
Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay the pastry squares in a diamond shape in front of you. Place a large spoonful of filling in the lower part of the diamond, leaving a 1/2-inch pastry border around the edge. Brush the bottom edge lightly with water, using your finger, and fold the top half over the bottom, forming a triangle. Press the edges together with a fork.
Place the filled turnovers on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and set on wire racks to cool .
Note: According to the Esalen cookbook, leftover filling goes well over rice or pasta (I just made more turnovers: my leftovers were enough for another half package of puff pastry).