Scallop and Pesto Purses are little packets of phyllo dough wrapped around a sea scallop, some sliced scallion, and a dollop of pesto. I always find phyllo to be fragile and well-suited to a treatment where patching won’t be noticed. In this case two layers are brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with parmesan, then cut into squares for forming the purses. There was some tearing of the phyllo sheets, and I tried to align the layers so that a torn portion would stack over an intact portion. I still got some holes as I twisted the tops closed. The tops were to be tied with string, but my kitchen twine had migrated to the garden and was in no condition to return to the kitchen, so I left them rustically scrunched.
The simplicity of the filling is brilliant, three flavors and textures that complement and contrast with the crunchy phyllo. Mine came out of the oven with beautifully browned crimped tops and very soggy bottoms. I’m pretty sure the liquid was released from the scallops as they cooked, and since I dried the raw scallops carefully, I’m not sure what I could have done to avoid the sogginess.
I don’t often make appetizers, but in the past I’ve made both savory and sweet galettes to serve as appetizer and dessert. Since I was already working with the phyllo, I was inspired to create a dessert version of a phyllo purse. I brushed phyllo sheets with melted butter, and sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. Following the three-ingredient formula, I filled the purses with a piece of banana, a square of chocolate, and some chopped walnuts. The flaky phyllo was a perfect foil for the roasted banana, melted chocolate, and crunchy nuts.
The recipe, from Baking With Julia, on page 435, couldn’t be simpler. More versions of Scallop and Pesto Purses can be viewed by following the links on Tuesdays With Dorie.