My dearest baby sister is currently dating a very descent guy. So what on earth would this have to do with the not so skinny cook I hear you say. Well naturally one doesn’t want to look like a complete hill billy when being introduced to who might be your new brother-in-law. So I invited the lovely couple over for a Sunday lunch. Although I made all sorts of traditional Sunday foods like roast chicken and potatoes I also included this as a side dish…. I am however quite sure that this would also suffice as a light lunch when served with a green salad.
The roses are made by shaping sheets of phyllo into roses , don’t worry it is much easier than it looks and will impress your guests endlessly. Phyllo is quite easy to work with as long as it is brought to room temperature beforehand. I used olive oil in a spray bottle between the sheets of phyllo thus creating a more healthy version, lower in fat and calories, than when you use butter. The phyllo was still delish and beautifully brown, and no-one missed the butter.
This can be prepared a day in advanced, just don’t bake once the phyllo roses has been placed on. Place into your refrigerator and cover loosely with foil to prevent drying out and spoiling. Bake 1/2 an hour before lunch in a pre-heated oven of 180° c.
So here is how you go about to create this showstopper:
- 1 package of frozen phyllo pastry (defrosted and brought to room temperature)
- 500g butternut cubed
- 2 red onions peeled and shopped roughly
- 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 small bunch of spinach remove the large stems and chop
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/3 cup of pine kernels toasted in a pan for about 2 minutes until brown
- one small roll of goat’s cheese (optional) cut into small chunks
- Vegetable spice of choice (I use Ina Paarman’s Vegetable Spices)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 220° c
- Place all the veg (excluding the spinach) on a roasting tray and toss together with about 3 Tbsps of olive oil, sprinkle with the vegetable spice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast in the pre-heated oven until all veg are soft and caramelized. (About 40 minutes)
- In the mean time heat 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Add one-third of the spinach and stir while cooking. When the spinach has wilted remove and place aside. Add more spinach and repeat the process until all the spinach has been wilted.
- To assemble the dish place the roasted vegetables in a rectangular oven dish, mix the pine kernels through, add the goat’s cheese and stir through gently. Place the spinach in a layer on top.
- Remove the phyllo sheets from the packaging and place a wet, clean tea towel over the remaining pastry.
- Separate the sheets placing one sheet on a clean working surface. Brush or spray with a thin layer of olive oil. Place onto the baking tray and trim off at the sides to fit snugly into the dish. Repeat with at least 4 layers of phyllo.
8. To fold a phyllo rose: Take both hands and pull phyllo up in the centre to make a fold.
9. Twist the phyllo around this fold and form a rose. Place roses on top of the phyllo layer to fit snugly.
10. Finally, bake at 180° c until the phyllo is crispy and brown. Serve immediately.