Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eggplant Stuffed Phyllo Triangles

I had some friends over last Saturday, and dinner was a confluence of several things I’ve been thinking about recently. First, I have been so encouraged by the quality of the foods I have made with the eggplant “meat” base. The original recipe was for eggplant meatballs, served traditionally atop spaghetti with tomato sauce. The next edition featured the eggplant filling in wontons for wonton soup. And finally, this week’s meal was a vegan reimagining of Moroccan lamb brewats. Brewats are traditionally made with a lamb filling spiced with cinnamon and cumin wrapped in phyllo dough. They have long been a favorite of mine.

More recently, I posted a phyllo pie recipe filled with mushrooms, and immediately wanted to make numerous adaptations of the dish. Although a few steps away from spicy mushroom phyllo pie, this recipe is at least cousins with that one. While only my second time working with phyllo, I found it to be fairly easy. I made the trip to Whole Foods for the slightly more rare whole wheat phyllo dough, and it lent a nice nuttiness to the overall dish. Quickly, this dish has become one of my master recipes, and one I can imagine serving at many dinners to come. Whether or not you have a pre-established attachment to these Moroccan pastries, give them a try, and you will wow your guests, and your self.

Check back in a couple of days to see what I did with the leftovers!

1 box phyllo dough (18 sheets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 eggplant, unpeeled and diced in 1/4” to 1/2” cubes
1 onion diced finely
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup firm tofu
2 cups bread crumbs toasted
1 tablespoon parsley chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons ground almonds

Place olive oil, eggplant and onion in a large skillet. Sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Combine walnuts, tofu, and 1 heaping cup of the eggplant mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Combine the puréed ingredients and the remaining sautéed eggplant mixture in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, herbs, and spices, and stir using a fork. Taste for salt and pepper.

Lay the phyllo dough lengthwise on a smooth surface. Brush the center of the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle the olive oil with ground almonds. Fold the right third of the dough over the center third of the dough. Brush the right half of the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with almonds and fold the left half of the dough over the right half of the dough. You should have a long thin strip of dough, about 4 inches wide. Place a tablespoon of filling in the bottom right hand side of the dough, about 1” from the bottom. Fold the left corner of the dough over to the right side, bringing the bottom of the dough parallel with the right side, forming a triangle. This is the same technique you would use to fold an American flag. Continue folding until you have a small triangle. Brush the top of the triangle with olive oil. Repeat this process until you run out of phyllo sheets or filling. Bake the triangles at 400º for 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy at the edges. Serve immediately!

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely! What a very interesting recipe this is. Thanks a lot for sharing. I am so excited to try it.