Janet here: I have a new favorite vegetarian cookbook, New Vegetarian by Robin Asbell. I have made two recipes from this cookbook and they both have totally rocked. If you like vegetables, you won't go wrong with this cookbook.
I decided to make the roasted parsnip and gruyere strudels for one reason and one reason only: It involved phyllo dough. The flaky, buttery goodness of phyllo dough makes it one of my all-time favorites. It's a bit of a pain to work with, but once you get past your inhibitions about it, you'll never go back. If a recipe has phyllo dough, it will be good. Period.
And before we go further, a word on parsnips. I thought they were like turnips. I was wrong. They are sweet, not bitter, and tasty. I now have to make up for lost decades and eat a lot of these since I ignored them before. As for this recipe, it's an appetizer, but these are fairly substantive so you could make this as an entree to go with soup and/or salad and you would be good to go. We had plenty left over from our little dinner party and my friend took some home and ate one for breakfast. Yum!
Roasted Parsnip and Gruyere Strudels
makes 12 appetizer-size pastries
2 pounds parsnips, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, quartered, and sliced
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I used dried; it was fine)
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (I used dried; it was fine)
4 ounces gruyere chees, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
olive oil spray
6 sheets phyllo
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the parsnips and carrots in a large roasting pan. Add the onion, thyme and olive oil. Toss. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, stir and re-cover and roast for 20 minutes more. Then ucover and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool
Mix the parsley and cheese with the parsnip mixture and season with salt and pepper. Coat a sheet pan with olive oil spray.
Place the phyllo on the counter, cover with plastic wrap, and then cover with a barely damp towel. It's important not to let the phyllo dry out.
Take a sheet of phyllo, cut in half across the short side and spray it with olive oil. Fold the half-sheet in half, making a tall strip. Place 1/4 cup of the parsnip mixture on the bottom of the sheet and fold up flag-style, forming a triangle as you pull the lwoer left corner up to the right edge, and then the lower right corner up to the left, alternating as you go. Place seam-side down on the sheet pan. Repeat with all sheets.
Bake uncovered until browned and crisp about 20 minutes. (I brushed them with olive oil before baking, which I think made them even a little crispier.) Serve warm.
Rachel here: So, when we decided to go the vegetarian route for this post, I had the totally lame and unoriginal idea to just make some stir-fry. It's basically the only time we don't eat meat of some sort with our dinner and it's not only easy but easy to do using only locally-grown ingredients. Mine was going to feature some kale, mushrooms and tofu along with lemon and garlic. However, before I even got to stir-fry night this week, my mom got to her vegetarian dish that she's shared with you above. Once I saw her picture and read her recipe I realized that there was, quite literally, no way in hell I was going to suffer the humiliation of posting stir-fry as my counterpart to her gorgeous strudels...so I ordered chicken wings instead from Red Buffalo. HA!