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Knish Recipe with Root Vegetable Mash

This knish recipe is filled with a delicious root vegetable mash, wrapped in a golden flaky puff pastry (store-bought – shh). Melt in your mouth and really easy. A great make ahead side dish or appetizer.

Knishes are delicious. Full stop.

Traditionally, knishes – a Jewish staple – are made with potatoes and fried onions, wrapped in a dough and shaped into various forms.

This knish recipe has a small twist with a root vegetable mash filling instead of just white potatoes. So you get a bit of sweetness, color, extra nutrients (vitamins and fiber) and varied flavors.

Needless to say, there are lots of variations you can use for the root vegetables and seasonings.

If you’ve see our super easy potato knishes, you will know that I use a BIG shortcut – a really good one. Store bought puff pastry. Call me a cheater. I’m happy to wear that label for my easy, delicious and much quicker knish recipes.

A word about Puff Pastry dough

Store-bought puff pastry, in my view, is a modern miracle. It’s buttery, flaky and crispy. And it makes anything you fill it with delicious. It should be with all those layers of dough and butter! (ok, not diet food).

How to buy it

I refuse to make puff pastry because the store bought kinds are so good. It typically comes in a package of two sheets, pre-rolled. Super convenient. Unfold it and you’re good to go. You can find puff pastry dough in the freezer dessert section of most supermarkets.

Best brands

The best brands are made with real butter. Dufour from Whole Foods and the Trader Joe‘s brand are good ones.

Pepperidge Farm uses shortening so it’s quite a bit cheaper. It’s also vegan. The brands made with shortening are still good, especially when combined with a filling. You will still get the flakiness and crispiness.

I don’t get too picky. I try to buy a brand that says ‘real butter’ on the package unless I’m serving to a crowd that can’t eat butter.

Tips on working with puff pastry dough

  1. Work with colder dough: From my experience, the most important tip I can give you is to keep the puff pastry dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it, including the second sheet of dough (while you’re working with the first sheet). This will avoid the dough getting sticky and difficult to work with.
  2. Work on parchment: Most puff pastry doughs come rolled up in parchment. I unroll the dough and work directly on the parchment. If not available or if your dough is sticking, sprinkle a little flour on your cutting board.
  3. Give it a nice finish: Brushing your puff pastry with egg wash will give it a nice golden glaze. It doesn’t affect the taste at all – it just looks prettier. If you forget or don’t have an egg, don’t worry about it.

What to serve with knishes

One of the best things about this knish recipe is that you can make it earlier in the day, then warm the knishes in the oven just before serving. They get even more crispy that way.

Knishes can be served with almost anything. I particularly love them with our apricot chicken recipe, spatchcock chicken with teriyaki glaze, cedar planked grilled whole chicken, sous vide short ribs and marinated flank steak. They’re also great as an appetizer. Just cut them a bit smaller.

Tailor To Your Taste

As always, choose the ingredients and seasonings you like or that fit your dietary needs best. Here are some suggestions.

  • For root vegetable mash
    • Root vegetables: Use two or more – white potatoes (I like Yukon/yellow potatoes best), sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga (swede), celery root (celeriac). 
    • Lower calorie version: Reduce the butter and eliminate the cream or milk (or replace it with low fat Greek yogurt or broth)
    • Dairy free version: Substitute the butter with olive oil and the cream with broth.
    • Add ins: Try adding grated cheese, caramelized onions and/or chopped fresh chives.
    • Seasonings: Add a teaspoon of dried thyme or dill if you like. Or use a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs.
  • Different fillings: Instead of root vegetable mash or mashed potatoes with fried onions, try creamed spinach, mushroom and onion, or ground beef and potatoes.
  • Make your own dough: Really? Well, if you want to get more traditional, here’s a well reviewed knish recipe with homemade dough from Food52.

Shortcuts

The main shortcut – a huge time saver – is using store-bought puff pastry.

The other one is a process time saver. Knishes are most often made as individual pieces – pretty time intensive. Instead, I make 4 logs and cut them into pieces when baked. They may not look as polished, but I have never heard any complaints 🙂

Make Ahead Knish Recipe

  1. Break it up and make the root vegetable mash 2-3 days ahead. Keep it in a sealed container. 
  2. Make the knish rolls up to 2 months ahead and freeze them as logs, unbaked, wrapped well in parchment and ziploc bags or foil.  Bake as per instructions whenever you need them (no need to defrost).
  3. Make the knish recipe a couple of hours before you need them including baking and cutting into serving pieces. Keep them in the counter. Reheat in the pan in a pre-heated 350F oven for 6-8 minutes.  (I do this all the time – extra crispy/flaky.)

Other puff pastry recipes you might like

How to make this knish recipe

For root vegetable filling: Use any combination of root vegetables you like to equal about 2 lbs/0.9kg. Pictured are carrots, celeriac, parsnips, white potato and sweet potato.

 

Ready to assemble in store-bought puff pastry

 

Bake at 375F for about 35 minutes until golden brown and flaky.

Cut on diagonal into 2 inch pieces.

 

 

pile of cut up knishes filled with root vegetable mash
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Knish Recipe with Root Vegetable Mash

This knish recipe is filled with a delicious root vegetable mash, wrapped in a golden flaky puff pastry (store-bought - shh). Melt in your mouth and really easy. A great make ahead side dish or appetizer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Jewish
Servings: 34 pieces approximately
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

For Root vegetable mash

  • 2 pounds (0.9kg) root vegetables Note 1 (this will make a bit more than you need)
  • 2 tablespoon butter (or neutral oil) use 3 tbsp butter for extra richness)
  • 2 tablespoon -3 milk or cream (optional)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

For knish assembly

  • 1 package puff pastry dough (2 sheets), defrosted if frozen about 14-17 ounces pastry dough in total
  • 3 1/2 cups root vegetable mash (made with ingredients above) cold leftovers is fine
  • 1 egg plus one tablespoon water, mixed (for egg wash)

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375F.
  • MAKE ROOT VEGETABLE FILLING:  (can be done 2-3 days ahead)
    °Prep and boil: Cut veggies into roughly the same size - about 1 - 1 1/2 inches. If using carrots, slice them thinner as they take longer to cook. Place in pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Add 2 tsp salt. Bring to boil. Lower to medium and gently boil for 15-18 minutes or until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Drain vegetables in a colander and return to the pot.
    °Mash: On medium heat, shake cooked vegetables to dry them out for 1 minute. Add green onions, butter and milk/cream. Mash with a fork to get the consistency you like. Do not use a food processor or immersion blender to mash veggies. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside or store in fridge until ready to make knishes.
  • ASSEMBLE KNISHES: On a lightly floured cutting board, unroll one sheet of dough. It should be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Stretch it out a bit to make a rectangle. Spread a log of vegetable mash mixture along the longer side of the rectangle - about 2 inches thick. Roll dough over the vegetable mixture about 1 and 1/2 times, making a log/roll. Cut away rest of dough for the next roll. Pinch seams together well. Repeat with other half of dough on that sheet. Then do the same with the second sheet of dough. You will have 4 logs/rolls in total.
    one roll of filled puff pastry with second not yet rolled up
  • BAKE: Place filled knish rolls - 2 inches apart - on a large parchment-lined pan, seam side down. Brush egg wash on rolls to create a glazed golden look. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Cut rolls into 2 inch pieces on the diagonal and serve. Or see Note 2 for make ahead options.

Notes

  1. Root Vegetables: Use two or more – white potatoes (I like Yukon/yellow potatoes best), sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga (swede), celery root (celeriac). If you don't have a scale, don't worry. Leftovers are great. Try two white potatoes, 1 medium sweet potato, 2 medium carrots, 2 parsnips and a turnip. 
  2. Make Ahead options:
    1. Make root vegetable mash 2-3 days ahead and keep it in a sealed container. 
    2. Make the knish rolls up to 2 months ahead and freeze them as logs, unbaked, wrapped well in parchment and ziploc bags or foil.  Bake as per instructions whenever you need them (no need to defrost).
    3. Make the knish recipe a couple of hours before you need them including baking and cutting into serving pieces. Keep them in the counter. Reheat in the pan in a pre-heated 350F oven for 6-8 minutes.  (I do this all the time and think it's the best way - they get even  crispier/flakier.)
 
Nutrition values are rough estimates depending on on puff pastry dough used and how root vegetable mash is made eg amount of butter and milk/cream used.  

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Knish Recipe with Root Vegetable Mash
Amount Per Serving
Calories 106 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 45mg2%
Potassium 112mg3%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 28IU1%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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