Crisp layers make savory main and side dishes

PAULA FRESCHET,  – September 30, 2004

Lobster Salad Napoleons

Sweet Potato-Chèvre Napoleons

Salmon and Potato Napoleons

One Napoléon was a short emperor with big ideas. Another was, until recently, a tall dessert that rose in tiers of flaky pastry and creamy filling. But today, the edible variety goes way beyond dessert.

The pastry may be crackly layers of filo dough or crisp, thin potato galettes, the fillings lobster, salmon ― even creamy sweet potatoes. And instead of ending a meal, these napoleons have come to power as hot or cold main courses or side-dish consorts. For speedy construction, they all have parts that can be made ahead.