This is an adaptation of a recipe by the wonderful Georgina Hayden, I would highly recommend her book Taverna which is filled with light, delicious and effortless Greek-Cypriot recipes that smell of sunshine. This flaky filo tart is stuffed with roast butternut squash and red onions (roasted until caramelised), toasted pine nuts, juicy raisins, preserved lemons and bulgur wheat. Served with a crunchy Waldorf salad. Despite being a little disappointed at not serving up a juicy dripping chicken with fluffy Yorkshires (my boyfriend is now an committed pescatarian), this platter served us incredibly well on a hot Easter weekend, washed down with a crisp bottle of Faustino Rivero Albariño.
1kg butternut squash
2 large red onions
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp of chermoula or cayenne pepper (a little bit of heat)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
65 of bulgur wheat
juice of 1 lemon
1 preserved lemon
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
75 golden raisins (normal are fine)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
1/2 bunch of corriander, chopped finely
1 small preserved lemon, diced small50g of pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
1 x 270g pack of filo
200g of butter, melted
For the salad
1 cos or Romaine lettuce
2 crisp eating apples
2 sticks of celery
4 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tsp of wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp of lemon juice
60 g shelled walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190c.
Peel the squash and cut into 4cm chunks (or if you're lazy like me leave the skin as it is, personally I think it adds texture and it's great for the gut!). Place in a bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle over the spices, mix well and add plenty of salt and pepper.
Spread the squash over the baking tray and back for 45 minutes until caramelised. Meanwhile chop the red onions into wedges and add these to the baking tray with 15 minutes to spare. Remove the veg from the oven once the squash is soft, slightly colored and the onions are soft. Set aside and leave to cool.
Place the bulgur wheat into a large bowl (a pasta bowl will do), season generously and cover with 300ml of boiling water. Fluff the bulgur wheat with a fork and then cover with a lid, plate or clingfilm and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile place the raisins in boiling water to soften them, leave to the side.
Drain in a sieve and leave to cool. Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes, as soon as they start to smell and colour remove from the pan inmediatley or they will burn.
Drain the raisins and combine witht the bulgur, pine nuts and roasted vegetables. Add the lemon juice, preserved lemons, vinegar and chopped herbs to the mixture, tasting to correct the seasoning.
Oil a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin and layer over all but two pieces of filo, overlapping and brushing with the melted butter (a pastry brush does the trick), making sure any excess hangs on the side. Make sure to slap on lots of butter as this effectively causes the pastry to go a lovely golden colour once baked. Fill the filo with the squash mix. Fold over the remaining two pieces of filo pastry delicately. Place in the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes until golden and crisp all over. Cooking time will depend on your oven so keep a close eye on that top layer of pastry. Leave the pie to cool before serving.
Meanwhile prepare your salad. Place the mustard, mayonaise, lemon juice and olive oil into a bowl and mix well, then season to taste.Trim and chop the celery into 1cm chunks, slice the apple into large matchsticks, then place into a large bowl. Discard the tatty outer lettuce leaves, then roughly chop and add to the bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and toss well. Place onto a platter, roughly chop and sprinkle over the walnuts, then serve. Et voila, tuck in with a glass of perfectly chilled, dry white wine.