Phyllo is back!

phylloPhyllo pastry is back in Dar! Absent from the freezer section for almost a year I discovered it’s return when I was strolling through the aisles of Village and Shrijee Supermarkets last week. Phyllo is easier to work with than it appears. This tasty dish will look like you slaved in the kitchen all day.

1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 -inch (4-cm) thin strips
1 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs (1 kg) butternut squash, peeled, cut into large pieces
and thinly sliced
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp (25 mL) fine dry bread crumbs
6 sheets phyllo pastry
1/3 cup (75 mL) melted butter

Heat half of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add red pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to skillet. Add squash and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until just tender. Stir in pepper mixture, sage and season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and let cool.

Combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a bowl. Lightly brush 1 sheet of phyllo with some of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the crumb mixture.

Layer with 4 more sheets of phyllo lightly brushing each layer with butter and sprinkling with 1 tbsp (15 mL) crumb mixture. Top with remaining sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with butter. Spoon a 3-inch (8-cm) wide strip of squash mixture lengthwise down pastry 2-inches (5-cm) from edge. Fold 1-inch (2.5-cm) of the pastry ends over filling and carefully roll up pastry around filling. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with remaining butter. (Can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead of baking and refrigerated.)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Cut 7 diagonal slits in top of pastry. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cut into diagonal slices and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

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About the Author

Chakula Chick
Teacher extraordinaire by day, creator of good food by night. Join me as I cook my way through Tanzania with (mostly) local ingredients!