Gruyere and Greens Turnovers

by Dorothy Reinhold on April 9, 2014

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As we settle in to spring and look forward to Easter time, my culinary thoughts turn to elegant greens. I can think of no more special an offering than hand-held, flaky turnovers stuffed to the edges with verdant leaves.

My friend Greg, an L.A.-based cookbook author, has the perfect recipe in his delightful first cookbook. How do I know? I tested it for him, using mustard greens, before the book was released. The pie girl in me adores savory pies, and his book is a wonderful resource for inspiration and creative recipes.

Grab some greens and make these, for a weekend lunch, for a light dinner along with some salad, or just for the best mid-day snack you ever want to meet.  There are four people at home, and everyone got only one except me, and I got the rest. I’ll let you do the math, and I won’t tell you where I hid them.

Recipe: Gruyere and Greens Turnovers

Summary: Greens-filled hand-held turnovers are herbaceous, crispy and nutty from the Gruyere. Wonderful for lunch or dinner. 


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 (6-ounce) bags of young greens such as mustard, dandelion, spinach, kale
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (or substitute cracked black pepper)
  • Flour for rolling
  • 1 (14-ounce) package frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator*
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (buy the good stuff)
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


  1. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add a few big pinches of salt. Working with a couple of handfuls at a time, quickly blanch the greens until well wilted (how long depends on type of greens). Transfer to the ice-bath as they finish to stop the cooking. Drain in a colander or salad spinner, then squeeze by fistfuls as dry as you can. Transfer greens to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallot and cook until softened, stirring often, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Turn off the heat and mix in the greens while the pan is still warm. Season with salt and a pinch cayenne or black pepper. Set aside to cool.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out puff pastry to about a 10- by 15-inch rectangle, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Trim cleanly, using a ruler and a pizza cutter or sharp knife, and then cut in half lengthwise to make two strips about 5 by 15 inches. Cut crosswise into thirds, giving you six 5-inch squares. Space evenly on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets (they’ll brown better with plenty of space). Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir the Gruyere into the cooled greens and divide into 6 equal portions. Using your hands, gently squeeze into dense palm-size oval balls.
  6. Brush egg wash along the edges of the dough pieces, using your finger. Place a mound of greens in the center and fold the dough diagonally over the filling, creating a triangle; press the edges to seal. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit more salt (optional). Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, place oven racks in top and center positions. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the turnovers until puffed and golden brown 16-18 minutes; switch the sheets halfway through. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Makes 6.

Savory-Pies-by-Greg-Henry-on-Shockingly-DeliciousRecipe source

Savory Pies: Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Crusts,” By Greg Henry (2012; Ulysses Press; $16.95)

*Puff pastry

1 1/2 sheets from a 17.3-ounce package of puff pastry can be cut into 5-inch squares and substituted for the 14-ounce package listed above.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 18 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★

Disclosure: The publisher sent a copy of the cookbook for review. 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dena Norton May 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

Wow, these are lovely – pinned!


Dorothy Reinhold May 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Thanks! I loved them! I think I truly ate them all…didn’t share. Don’t judge. 🙂


Priscilla | ShesCookin April 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Even people who think they don’t like greens, will love these! Everything’s better wrapped in puff pastry :))


Dorothy Reinhold April 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Agree completely!


sippitysup April 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

Spring Greens with a crunch. GREG


Dorothy Reinhold April 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

Your recipe ROCKS!


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