Simple pleasures

Spicy filo vegetable parcels


Bourek, samosa, pasty or empanada? They’re all good ways to eat a messy filling with your hands. I first had bourek in a cous cous restaurant in Paris and loved the delicate pastry and the oozing cooked egg inside. With that in mind, I’ve combined a spicy vegetable filling with the egg on top and added quorn for texture.

Feel free to use minced lamb if you prefer and it’s up to you whether you make six large ones or 12 small to have as snacks. You can use quails’ eggs for these. Serve with a mint crème fraiche.

Makes:                             6-12
Preparation time:         20 minutes
Cooking time:                45 minutes

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
A handful of buckwheat
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
½ a butternut squash, diced
1 packet of Quorn mince (approx 300g)
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 mug of water
2 tbsp tomato purée
A small handful of kale leaves
2 tbsp za’atar spice mix
6 eggs (optional) plus one for glazing
Salt and pepper to season
1 220g pack of ready rolled filo pastry sheets

1. Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft then add the carrot and celery.
Season well and cook gently for five minutes.

2. Add the buckwheat and toast well before mixing in all the spices apart from the za’atar then add the squash and quorn and mix well.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, mix the purée with the water and pour into the pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes then stir in the kale and cook for a further 15 minutes with the lid off. The liquid needs to reduce so you don’t end up with soggy pastries. Set aside to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 180c

5. When cool, lay the filo pastry on the work surface and brush the edges of the top one with some beaten egg mixed with a little milk or water.

6. Put a large spoonful of the filling in one corner of the pastry, make a well in the centre and add the egg. Sprinkle with the za’atar. Fold over into a triangle. Brush with more egg and fold again. Repeat until you have a firm parcel. Glaze the pastry with the egg, repeat with the remaining mixture and bake the parcels in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve with a mint crème fraîche made with a mix of dried and fresh mint.

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