Egg Puff Pastry Squares with Cheddar and Green Harissa
Flaky egg puff pastry squares filled with roasted bell pepper, cheddar cheese, and green harissa. A spicy, flavorful breakfast pastry!
This post is sponsored by Mina Harissa.
Delicious and flaky egg puff pastry squares filled with roasted bell pepper, cheddar cheese, and spicy green harissa. Once baked, they’re topped with diced avocado, green onion, and fresh cilantro.
These elegant breakfast pastries are spicy, flavorful, and sure to impress! This recipe was inspired by my absolute favorite easy breakfast as of late: eggs, harissa, and sharp cheddar. I’ve assembled it in corn tortillas with scrambled eggs and now I’ve gone ahead and plopped it into a flaky, sky-high puff pastry square.
These pastries are perfect for any meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They would also make an impressive brunch dish for friends or family over the holidays.
As you can probably guess, I’ve teamed up with Mina Harissa to bring you another tasty recipe using their line of harissa sauces!
I’m extremely picky about what I share with you and only want to share the best of the best. In other words, things that I would go to the store and buy with my own money. The type of products that I happily use on a regular basis and can vouch for, as well as ones that contain high-quality ingredients.
I can honestly say that I’ve had so much fun working with these sauces! Not to mention, the family behind the brand (Mina, herself!). Their harissas are so versatile and the possibilities for using them are truly endless.
It is an easy and simple way to add a ton of flavor and spice to a dish. What could be better?
Classic harissa has become relatively popular over the last year or two, but I still feel like green harissa is on the up and up.
Mina Brand classic harissa and green harissa are equally as spicy, but unlike traditional harissa, which is made with red peppers, green harissa is made with green peppers. I love the contrast in color that green harissa can give to a dish.
For example, I’ve been dying to make a harissa mac and cheese (it’s on my cooking agenda!), and I definitely plan on using green harissa when I do. Red harissa and white béchamel wouldn’t create the most appetizing color combination if you know what I mean.
These incredibly yummy puff pastry squares are made with Mina’s green harissa, but you could easily substitute it with Mina’s classic harissa or if you are sensitive to the heat, Mina’s mild harissa would be perfect as well.
Don’t be intimidated! They are not as complicated as they appear. But they look complicated and fancy and that is always a great thing.
The Vision For This Dish:
I had a vision for these before I even made them as is the case for most recipes I share. Sometimes my vision for a dish doesn’t go exactly as planned once I get in the kitchen and, you know, actually make it. It took a few tries to get this one right. But I worked out the kinks for you.
Pre-baking the puff pastry was easy thanks to frozen puff pastry sheets (best invention ever) and a light egg wash. The tricky part was adding the eggs. The first few times I made this, I experimented with just one layer of puff pastry.
Despite having a relatively deep, natural “well” in the center of each puff pastry square after they initially baked, the minute I added the eggs, the whites would overflow onto the baking sheet. Every single time.
In the end, I discovered the best way to solve this problem was to use a second sheet of puff pastry to create a “puff pastry border” (roughly ¾-inch wide) for each square.
The double border of puff pastry helps create a distinct vessel to hold the filling and prevents any spilling issues. Victory!
Egg Puff Pastry Squares with Cheddar and Green Harissa
Roasted Bell Peppers:
- 3-4 red or yellow bell peppers roughly ¾ lb
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg plus 1 teaspoon of water
Puff Pastry Squares:
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed I recommend Dufour or Pepperidge Farm brand
- all-purpose flour for dusting
- 2 tablespoons green harissa Mina brand
- 5 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 large eggs
- ½ ripe avocado diced
- 2 green onions roots trimmed and finely sliced
- fresh cilantro leaves
- Roast Peppers: Preheat the oven broiler to high. Lightly coat the bell peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the peppers, uncovered, on a half sheet pan. Broil the peppers for 12 to 18 minutes, flipping them several times, until they are blackened on all sides. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and slice in half, discarding the seeds and stems, and slice the peppers into thin strips. Set aside.
- Prepare Egg Wash: Whisk together the egg and 1 teaspoon cold water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare and Pre-Bake Puff Pastry Squares: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Remove one sheet of thawed puff pastry from the fridge and place on a lightly floured counter top. Using a pastry (non-fluted) cutter or very sharp knife, cut the pastry sheet into four equal-sized squares. Cut the pastry as cleanly as possible with one stroke - this will help ensure the edges rise properly during baking. Place the puff pastry squares onto the lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you work with the remaining sheet of thawed puff pastry.
- Remove the remaining sheet of puff pastry from the fridge and place on a lightly floured counter top. Repeat the previous step, cutting the pastry sheet into four equal squares. Working with one square at a time and using a pastry cutter or knife, cut a square within each pastry square, so that you create a ¾-inch wide border square (see photos in article above for demonstration). Discard or re-freeze the inner puff pastry square (layer between pieces of parchment paper and cover very tightly with plastic wrap). Repeat with the remaining squares.
- Remove the first set of puff pastry squares from the fridge. Lightly brush the tops with egg wash. Place a puff pastry square border directly on top of each square, so that the borders line up evenly - the egg wash will act as a glue. Brush the top border and edges with egg wash. Repeat until all puff pastry squares have been assembled.
- Using a fork, dock the inside portion of each pastry square (do not dock the border) - docking will prevent the inside from rising as high as the sides, thus creating a well for adding our ingredients. Place the puff pastry squares in the refrigerator to chill for an additional 10 minutes. During this time, assemble the remaining filling ingredients.
- Remove the puff pastry from the fridge. Bake the empty pastry shells until the puff pastry is lightly golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven, set pan on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool slightly. Reduce the oven heat to 400°F (204°C)
- Add Fillings and Final Bake: Using a spoon or your fingertips, lightly press the inside of each puff pastry square to deflate the layer slightly, creating a deeper well. Spread the green harissa evenly onto the bottom of each well with the back of a metal spoon or off-set spatula. Distribute the grated cheese evenly inside the square and add the roasted red pepper strips, placing them along the edges of the inside of each well.
- Carefully crack an egg into the center of each puff pastry square. Lightly season with salt. Bake at 400°F (204°C) until the egg whites are just set (but the yolk is soft to touch), about 12 to 16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and garnish each pastry with diced avocado, green onions, and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success:
- I recommend using Dufour and Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets. From my experience, Trader Joe’s frozen puff pastry does not rise nearly as high. If you do not feel like roasting peppers from scratch, feel free to substitute with jarred roasted red peppers (however, they are not as tasty!).
- Mina Harissa is available at Whole Foods and other grocery store locations, and can also be ordered online on Amazon.
Today’s post and giveaway was sponsored by Mina Harissa as part of an ongoing recipe development project. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and use in my own kitchen, as well as the ones that help make this site possible!