Moroccan spinach and chickpea strudel

Moroccan spinach and chickpea strudel

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

If vegetarian inspiration evades you, this aromatic, full-flavoured recipe is a good one to have up your sleeve. Serve with plain yoghurt, infused with chopped fresh mint, a little salt and ground roasted cumin.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
85g butter
1 quantity Strudel pastry
or 6-8 sheets bought filo
extra flour, to dust

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
2 red onions
1 red pepper
80g dried apricots
1 garlic clove
400g tin chickpeas
200g baby spinach leaves
large handful coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon harissa paste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chillies
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100g flaked almonds
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the filling, halve and peel the onions, then slice thinly into half rings. Deseed the pepper and cut into thin slices. Finely chop the apricots. Peel and crush the garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and wash the spinach. Roughly chop the fresh coriander. Set everything aside, in separate bowls.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onions, cover with a damp cartouche and a lid and sweat over a low heat until soft, checking regularly that they don’t begin to brown.
  3. Remove the cartouche and add the red pepper to the onions. Cook until the pepper begins to soften, then add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the tomato purée, harissa, coriander and cumin seeds, crushed dried chillies, paprika and cinnamon. Mix well and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and apricots to the pan, stir well and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10–15 minutes, to drive off excess liquid and concentrate the flavour. When the mixture is moist but not runny, add the chickpeas and spinach and heat through until the spinach is just wilted.
  5. Add the chopped coriander and two thirds of the flaked almonds. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C. Melt the butter and grease a large baking sheet.
  7. Gently stretch the strudel pastry on a floured tea towel to a large rectangle and trim the edges with a large knife. If using bought filo, arrange overlapping sheets on a floured tea towel to make a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm.
  8. Brush the pastry with the melted butter and place the chickpea filling in a line down the short edge of the pastry, leaving a 2cm border. Using the tea towel to help, roll the pastry around the filling, in a fairly tight roll, brushing off any excess flour as you roll. Lift the cloth and gently tip the strudel onto the prepared baking sheet, with the pastry join underneath.
  9. Brush the pastry with more butter and sprinkle over the remaining almonds, then bake in the middle of the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm serving dish.
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