Italian chef and businesswoman Alessandra D'Angelo prepares a dish that celebrates fresh seasonal veggies and smoked scamorza cheese.
The 1st of October is World Vegetarian Day, a day dedicated to a meat-free diet.
In 1977 the North American Vegetarian Society promoted this day, then approved by the International Vegetarian Union the following year.
World Vegetarian Day 2020 also opens Vegetarian Awareness Month which ends on November 1st, when the World Vegan Day is celebrated.
On this occasion, and given the variety of fresh spring vegetables, SBS Italian proposes the recipe for a strudel or savory pie.
Alessandra D'Angelo, chef and owner of Osteria Italiana in Melbourne, an Italian restaurant specialized in vegetarian and vegan cuisine explains how to make this recipe.
Strudel is usually a dessert and savory pies are rounded (in the Italian cuisine). I propose four single portions of filled pies in the shape of a strudel
Here's how to prepare it:
Savoury strudel pies with seasonal vegetables and smoked scamorza cheese
- 4 sheets of frozen pastry
- 1 leek
- 100ml of EVOO
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 large or 2 medium red capsicums
- 2 zucchinis
- 80 / 100gr of mushrooms (4 large)
- 40g of Parmesan cheese
- 100 gr of smoked scamorza cheese
- 1 egg
- 20gr of sesame
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
Arrange the four sheets of pastry on four squares of baking paper of equal size and allow to defrost. Turn on the oven and bring to 200 degrees, ventilated.
Clean and wash the vegetables. The asparagus must be peeled, cut into about six pieces each and blanched in lightly salted water for about 4 minutes. Then cut the zucchinis into half-moons, the peppers into strips, the leeks into rather thin slices and the mushrooms into meaty slices.
We then proceed with cooking. In a large, non-stick pan, arrange the oil and leek and cook over a low flame, stirring constantly. Then add all the other ingredients, add salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat and covered for about 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a bowl, beat the egg with a pinch of salt and set aside.
In each half of the four sheets of puff pastry make 3 diagonal and parallel cuts of about five centimetres in length. Add the Parmesan cheese to the warmed mixture and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Moisten the perimeter of the first square of puff pastry with a brush wet with water. Then place a quarter of the filling on half of the filo pastry and top up with a quarter of the sliced smoked scamorza cheese.
Using the baking paper, fold the filo pastry over the dough to form a rectangle and seal by pressing the three sides to be closed with your fingers and then with a fork. Let's proceed with filling the other three sheets.
Cut the excess parchment paper, place on the baking sheet, brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame.
Bake for 20/25 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave to cook for another three minutes with the door open.
If we do not serve it immediately, we will let it cool completely before packaging.
The chef's advice
"With single portions it will be easier to cut the puff pastry and take the strudel with you for a picnic" said Alessandra D'Angelo.
For more advice from the chef on how to obtain a crunchy strudel yet on the best seasonal vegetables to use in the filling, listen to the interview with Alessandra D'Angelo (available only in Italian):
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