In Eastern Europe a meal before the meal or substantial starter dish is often served. Strudels are quite popular.
This strudel is made with a savory mix of mushrooms and artichokes wrapped in filo pastry. Look for it in you freezer section at the grocery store.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
- 1lb wild mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 9 oz artichoke hearts in olive oil, quartered
- 6 large filo pastry sheets
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 11 oz unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Warm up your oven to 400 degrees F and grease an oven dish with a lashing of melted butter.
- Drizzle oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet and wait until it heats up.
- Throw in the onions and stir fry them for about 5 minutes or until they soften.
- Transfer the fried onions to a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat 5 oz of butter in the skillet until it melts and foams.
- Throw in the garlic and thyme, along with mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring at times, until the mushrooms become tender.
- Transfer this sautéed mixture to the bowl of onions, followed by the pine nuts and artichoke hearts.
- Sprinkle a dash of salt and lots of black pepper over them and toss them well together to mix thoroughly.
- Set the mixture aside to cool and pass it through a sieve to drain off any excess grease and cooking liquid.
- For the strudel, melt rest of the butter and pour it into a small bowl.
- Spread two filo pastry sheets across the greased dish, so that their thin ends overlap each other and baste it with a lashing of the melted butter.
- Top it up with two more similar filo pastry layers while brushing each layer with the melted butter.
- Spread the last layer of the pastry and brush its sides with the butter.
- Spoon the mushroom-artichoke mixture onto the unbuttered portion of the final layer and roll them together to form a cylinder, tucking in the sides at the same time.
- Brush the surface of this parcel generously with melted butter and bake in the oven at preheated temperature for about 25 minutes or until it turns crispy golden brown.
- Remove from heat and set aside until it is cool enough to handle.
- Carve out thick slices and place them on serving plates.
- Serve alongside mashed potatoes, pickles or chutney and have fun!
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons