Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday (Thanksgiving Edition)

This week's recipe comes from New Vegetarian by Celia Brooks Brown

(Find this and other great cookbooks in the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.)

Chestnut, Spinach, and Mushroom Phyllo Torte, with tomato and ginger coulis

A star replacement for turkey at a vegetarian holiday dinner or special meal. The buttery phyllo is light and crisp, but use olive oil if you are cooking for vegans

Serves 6-8

4 cups spinach leaves, well washed, with tough stalks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. cooked, peeled chestnuts, chopped
2 heaped tablespoons thick-cut marmalade
5 sheets phyllo pastry, about 11x20 inches
4 tablespoons butter, melted
kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Tomato and Ginger Coulis
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 lb. canned chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2/3 cup Madeira wine or dry sherry
kosher salt or sea salt and cayenne pepper

9-inch springform cake pan, brushed with melted butter

To make the coulis, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and Madeira or sherry and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. For an extra-smooth consistency, push the puree through a strainer. Set aside.

Put the trimmed spinach in a large saucepan, cover, and heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted. Drain and let cool. Wring out in a clean cloth, then chop.

Heat the olive oil in the pan, add the onions, mushrooms, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and cook until softened and the juices have evaporated. Add the garlic, saute briefly, then add the chestnuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the spinach and marmalade and heat through. Season to taste.

Working with 1 sheet of phyllo at a time (keep the rest covered with a damp cloth to stop them from drying out,) line the prepared cake pan. Press a sheet gently into the sides of the pan and let the edges overhang. Brush with melted butter and slightly overlap with another sheet. Continue to layer and butter the sheets as before, until the pan is completely covered. Spoon in the chestnut mixture and smooth flat. Fold the overhanging phyllo in towards the center and ruffle the top so the phyllo stands in peaks. Brush with butter.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Unmold carefully and slide onto a baking sheet. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until golden and crisp all over. Let stand for a few minutes. Reheat the coulis. Using a serrated knife, cut the torte into wedges and serve with the coulis poured over.

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