Today is hot, rainy, and oppressively humid. I’m hoping it’s not going to be a soggy summer in the city. Food-wise it is a grazing kind of day where it is too hot to eat anything substantial so a few crunchy vegetables, and nuts or cheese to round it out, sounds just right for dinner. And a few of these Sesame-Parmesan Breadsticks. I had puff pastry in the freezer because I had an idea to make a gorgeous puff pastry tart with colorful stripes of rhubarb. Rhubarb doesn’t really grow in the South as it likes colder climates (do not take this as any real gardening know-how as I have a black thumb), therefore it is not something I am super familiar with. Still, it is beautiful and seasonal and I had a vision for the perfect spring dessert. When I tried the idea out, however, my rhubarb inexperience came through and it was a soggy mess, much like today in DC. After picking at it to eat what I could salvage, I threw the whole thing out and decided rhubarb just isn’t in my blood. I used the other sheet of pastry to make these breadsticks with cheese and sesame seeds. Now those ingredients are in my blood.
After making these breadsticks, I’ve decided to start keeping puff pastry in the freezer at all times just so I can whip together a batch at a moments notice—these are made for last minute gatherings. Next time I will add a dusting of cayenne pepper too to help ease the summer swelter.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to flatten it slightly and smooth the seams where the dough was folded. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and sesame seeds. Roll with the rolling pin again to push the toppings into the pastry. Cut into thirds then cut each third into strips that are slightly less than 1 inch wide. Pull and twist the strips to make skinny breadstick twists that are about 7 inches long. If the sesame seeds and cheese fall off while twisting, press the dough strip into the cheese and sesame seeds to get them to re-adhere to the dough. Place half the strips on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining half. Cool on a cooling rack. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to a month.