A vegetarian Thanksgiving menu demands a centerpiece as dramatic and satisfying as a turkey. This recipe is it: crusty phyllo pouches full of lightly spiced fall vegetables. The cool, creamy yogurt sauce balances the heat from the green poblano chiles in the filling. You can prepare the filling and sauce earlier in the day and refrigerate until ready to assemble and bake the purses.
1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut or kabocha squash
2 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 large)
3 large poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
16 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
How to Make It
To prepare sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients; cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare purses, arrange the squash and bell pepper halves in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; coat the vegetables with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring after 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Thinly slice bell pepper halves, and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Cook cumin seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Add oil to pan; increase heat to medium-high heat. Add leek and poblanos; sauté 8 minutes or until leek is tender. Cool slightly.
Combine squash, bell peppers, leek mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and artichokes, tossing gently.
Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining dough to prevent drying); lightly coat with cooking spray. Top with another phyllo sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Gently press 2 phyllo sheets together. Spoon about 1 1/4 cups squash mixture into center of phyllo stack; top with 3 tablespoons cheese. Gather 4 corners of phyllo, and crimp and twist to seal, forming a purse. Lightly coat purse with cooking spray; place on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, squash mixture, and cheese to form 8 purses. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until phyllo is browned and crisp. Serve with sauce.
i made this as a thanksgiving vegetarian entree and would highly recommend it. complex, delicious flavor! I did not have enough filling to put 1 cup in each pouch so i only made 4, BUT the pouches were huge and could definitely have been made with half the filling.
also, it seemed like 2 sheets of phyllo wasn't going to be enough, so i used more, but then the knot on top didn't cook all the way through. next time i'd trust the recipe and go with 2 only.
This recipe is phenomenal! I made it for Thanksgiving as the vegetarian entree, and cut some into thirds for the omnivores to have as a side. Needless to say, it was all gone at the end of the night.
I included the seeds of one poblano to add an extra dimension of spice to the recipe and would kick it up another notch the next time I make it--which will definitely be soon.
I lightly brushed the phyllo with olive oil, and would say the the raita/yogurt sauce is not even necessary for these flavors.
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