Saturday, 5 February 2011

Moroccan-Infused Vegetable Phyllo Rolls & Balsamic Maple Dressing

Kitchen Playlist - Caro Emerald ~ Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor Album

Since becoming vegan I have had the opportunity to  study the vegan cookbook world. And I have come to greatly admire a many of these creative and talented authors/cooks. Dreena Burton is one of these folks, her cookbook Vive le Vegan is a favourite of mine. But Eat, Drink & Be Vegan is a cookbook I would save in a fire! It was the first time I had tried the Phyllo Rolls from the later cookbook and I loved them. They weren't as fiddly as I thought they might be and I enjoyed making them. Next time I would increase the spiciness as I felt it was a 'whisper' of spicy and I think they could take a little more. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup Apricots which i have to say is not something this woman can eat - Yuck! (I know I'm in the minority here lol) so I substituted this for 1/2 cup of finely diced Aubergine. The smell that was coming from the oven as all the veggies and spices slowly roasted made my mouth water. lol. Dreena suggests in her book to serve it with a salad and her Balsamic Maple dressing, which is exactly what I did. The result was a very good meal which I greatly enjoyed. 

To share the meal with me last night was two very excellent people. There are people in my life  that i could cook for daily and it would be a pleasure to do so. D & B are two of these people and I get great joy from spending time with them. I can relax in their company and serve up the food for us and simply enjoy. They are also great for giving me honest feedback which helps when you are creating. lol. It was the first Annual Rice Pudding Club (blog about this event to come) and I wanted something light to have as our main course. 

Moroccan - Infused Phyllo Rolls Serves 6
(Recipe from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton)

2 Cups of a combination of yellow, orange and red pepper, chopped
3 cups of courgette, chopped
1 1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup of fennel, chopped
1/2 cup aubergine, finely diced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup of cooked chickpeas or bean of choice
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
12 sheets of Phyllo Pastry
3 tbsp olive oil to brush the pastry
1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds, lightly toasted (for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 425'F/220'C/Gas Mark 7. Line a wide-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place peppers, courgettes, onion, fennel, aubergine and garlic in a large bowl. Mix together the spices in a small dish until combined. Pour the oil over the vegetables and mix to ensure all are coated. Then sprinkle over the spices and again mix to coat. Pour the vegetables onto the baking sheet and even out. Then place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, tossing a couple of times. The vegetables should be caramelized in some spots and softened. Remove from the oven and toss in the chickpeas and the basil, and let cool slightly. 
Reduce the oven temp to 375'F/190'C/Gas Mark 5. Line a fresh sheet with parchment paper. Place a dampened tea towel over the Phyllo pastry to keep moist while preparing rolls. Lightly  brush a sheet of pastry with oil and then place a second one over it and gently smooth flat. Spread a sixth of the vegetable mixture down the centre of the pastry. Fold up and over the bottom of the sheet and fold over both sides, then gently roll upwards until you have a sealed roll. Then place the roll, join side down on the baking sheet. Repeat this five more times. Brush the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle. Bake for 24-28 minutes , until golden brown.
Serve with a large salad and dressing. (Recipe below)

Balsamic Maple Dressing Serves 4-5 (makes 1/2 cup)
(Recipe from Eat,Drink & be Vegan by Dreena Burton)

1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vegan marg
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp arrowroot powder
3 tbsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)

In a saucepan on a low heat, combine the syrup, vinegar, marg, garlic and salt, and heat for several minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the arrowroot and tamari, stirring through until well incorporated. Add tamari mixture to the saucepan, whisk to combine, and increase heat to bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it boil gently for one minute, then remove from heat and let cool slightly (the mixture will thicken more as it cools down) Serve.