Phyllo dough feels a little old-fashioned, but it’s super easy to work with and creates such spectacularly crisp, flaky layers. Here, the paper-thin sheets get wrapped around cumin-spiced carrots and tangy goat cheese to make a strudel that tastes vaguely Middle Eastern. If you prefer, you can replace the carrots with 2 cups of well-drained cooked greens or mushrooms. The strudels are best the day they’re made and can stand at room temperature for several hours. You can also refrigerate them overnight and bake at 325°F to refresh.
2 14-inch strudels
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using the coarse shredding blade on a food processor, shred the carrots (alternatively, you can use 2 cups store-bought shredded carrots).
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes, if desired.
- In a bowl, mix the goat cheese with the thyme.
- Put the remaining ¾ cup olive oil in a bowl; cover your 8 sheets of phyllo dough with a clean towel to keep them from drying out.
- Set one of the sheets of phyllo on a clean surface with one of the longer edges toward you. Generously brush with oil. Top with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with more oil. Spread half the goat cheese in a strip about ½ inch from the bottom edge of the phyllo stack, leaving about 1 inch on either side. Spread half the carrot filling alongside. Roll the phyllo so that the goat cheese is on top of the carrot filling, then roll into a cylinder, tucking in the edges as you go. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet, brush with more oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make a second strudel.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through, until golden and crisp. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Excerpted from “Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share” by Kristin Donnelly, copyright © 2016, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi.
Kristin Donnelly is a Brooklyn-based food and wine writer. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Prevention, EveryDay With Rachael Ray, Women’s Health and Cherry Bombe magazines. She is the author of the cookbook The Modern Potluck.