I first created this recipe in Washington D.C. Then I recreated it for my newspaper column in the Sunday Mercury. It’s quite a time consuming the first time you make it, but I promise you Vegetable Strudel will become a firm favourite with your vegetarian and non vegetarian friends. You have layers of vegetables, all prepared differently and then rolled into a “roulade” with filo pastry that wows your guests when you serve it. I have recreated this as part of a vegetarian Christmas special I am teaching online tomorrow, so I may post a video version on this post soon, so keep checking back!
Ingredients serve 6- 8 portions
300g White cabbage, thinly sliced
50g onion, thinly sliced
turmeric 1 heaped teaspoon
75g Unsalted Butter
300g Baby Spinach
Nutmeg to grate
2 Flat mushrooms sliced
125g Wild Mushrooms
200g Carrots cut into thin matchsticks
10g Fresh Dill
12 leaves of Filo pastry
100 g Sundried tomatoes in oil drained
3 cloves of garlic (cracked open)
pinch white sugar
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBsp Sesame seeds (optional)*
50 ml white wine
Start by preparing the different layers of vegetable and then construct your strudel.
- Heat a non-stick wok with 1 Tbsp Olive oil add the sliced onion and the slice cabbage and cook on a medium heat, stirring and do not brown. Add the turmeric and 25g butter and turn the heat down and cook until almost cooked and stir in the sesame seeds* Season with salt and black pepper. remove from the wok and allow to cool.
- Heat a large stainless steel saucepan on am medium heat and add the spinach and 25g unsalted butter and quickly cook the spinach , stirring as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper & grate in enough nutmeg to be able to taste it. Drain the cooked spinach into a colander and allow to cool.
- In a non-stick wok heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on a medium heat with the 3 cloves of garlic. Add the flat and wild mushrooms then 25g butter and cook gently stirring over from time to time. Cook until lightly brown & season with slat and pepper. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a bowl to cool (lined with a sheet of paper towel) to absorb some of the butter & oil.
- In a small food processor combine the sundried tomatoes with 50 ml of white wine an puree into a chunky thick paste
- Blanch the carrots in boiling salted water adding a pinch of sugar. Cook only until the pan comes back to the boil and then cool quickly with cold water. Once drained stir in the chopped fresh dill.
Constructing your Strudel
- Lay a clean kitchen tea towel on your kitchen counter. Next lay a sheet of parchment paper almost as long on top of the tea towel. Remember that most domestic baking trays are about in length 35 -39cm in length, so you need to make sure your finished strudel will fit on the tray.
- Lay 2 sheets of the filo, overlapping them horizontally in the top part of the tea towel, 3 inch from top. Then lay 2 more sheets of filo below the first 2 but still overlapping the first 2. Brush the 4 sheets lightly with olive oil.
- Repeat the process with 4 more filo sheets but this time lay your vertically, overlapping slightly differently to give it strength, again brush lightly with olive and repeat going in a vertical direction with the remaining 4 sheets, brush again with lightly with olive oil.
- First lay the cabbage in the centre of the filo, spreading it out across most of width, but leaving at least a 3 inch gap at each. Make sure that there are no gaps in your cabbage layer before you move on to the next vegetable.
- Each vegetable layer should be slightly smaller (in area) than the last. Next make sure the spinach is a dry as possible before you spread that on cabbage. Again spread the spinach out as much as possible but leave no gaps, making sure the spinach layer is slightly smaller than the cabbage layer.
- Next spread out carrots on top of the spinach layer, again making sure there are no gaps and that the carrot layer is slightly smaller than the spinach.
- Then layer the garlic mushroom mix.
- Finally create a small sausage like shape with the sundried tomato mix in the centre of you layers of vegetables.
- Use a pastry brush and brush the edges of the filo pastry with cold water to help seal the pastry and begin to roll it up. Use the parchment paper and tea towel to roll the strudel into a roulade shape, making sure you keep the roulade quite tight and even.
- Gently extricate the tea towel and keep shaping the strudel into a tight even cylinder with the parchment paper. Gently draw back the parchment paper making sure it is not entangled with the strudel and then twist the edges, making sure the roulade can fit on your baking tray. Carefully transfer the strudel, keeping on the parchment paper onto your baking tray
- Brush the strudel with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for 35-40 minutes until lightly brown.
Strudel Serving Tips
You need to let your strudel cool for 1 hour before your slice it to let it set. It is also important to use a sharp serrated bread knife to cut it with so you can use a sawing motion and get clean cuts.
You can even make your strudel the day before then slice it cold (keep the slices upright) and reheat it gently in the oven.
Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce
Over the years I have tried various types of sauces with my vegetable strudel but I think this one is the best.
2 tins (400g) plum tomatoes
200ml cold water
50 g finely diced onion
2 Fat garlic cloves
125 g Roasted red pepper finely diced
1TBsp Olive oil
10 g fresh basil cut into thin ribbons
6 finely diced black olives (optional extra)
- Heat the olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan on a medium heat & add the onions. Cook and stir until the onions are soft and translucent but without colour.
- Add the two tins of tomatoes and squash the tomatoes as your stir well.
- Now add the 200 ml of cold water and two unpeeled cloves of garlic. Cook for a further couple of minutes and then add the diced red pepper.
- Cook the sauce on a medium to low heat for 30 minutes stirring from time to time.
- Remove the garlic and squash on you cutting board to release the cooked garlic from the skins. Return the garlic paste to the sauce and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Puree the sauce using a food mill or a food processor and then add the basil and check to see if the seasoning needs adjusting.
To cut up basil leaves I stack them and roll them before slicing thinly into ribbons (chiffonade ). If you do use a food processor to puree any tomato sauce then use short blasts and don’t “whizz” too long or your sauce will turn orangey red rather than a vibrant red.
Vegetable Strudel © Kevin Ashton 1986 & 2020
Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce © Kevin Ashton 2018
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