We baked the summer vegetables and wrapped them in phyllo sheets with plenty of basil and herbs. The result? A Mediterranean feast in a very fragrant, crispy strudel with honeyed roasted vegetable layers and a loud crunch on every bite.
Strudel means whirlpool, vortex. The whole category of rolled delicacies became known from the famous sweets of the classic cafe of Vienna, Budapest and Prague amidst the apple strudel being the most popular.
However, both Austrian and Hungarian cuisine present many savoury or neutral versions of it. They serve a variety of strudels in combination with seasonal vegetables, bulbs, tubers and herbs (savoury); pumpkin (neither savoury nor sweet) or also with meat (lamb or beef) which is usually served with potatoes and salad. Strudel also appears as a typical dish on the menu of the winemaker’s taverns (called heuriger) that accompanies the tasting of their young wine.
Crispy, soft, sweet, savoury, with aubergine bitterness and spicy pepper tones
A vegetable strudel is the analogue of the Greek pie. The phyllo sheet is a masterwork, handmade and pretty thin. As it is said, it needs to be so sheer and transparent that you may read through it a love letter! A strudel stuffed with meat is also considered the Austrian answer to the British beef Wellington.
In this recipe, we made a roasted vegetable strudel with a light Mediterranean twist, given the summer season. Packed with healthy everyday veggies – no butter, just olive oil – it is loaded with basil and herbs such as oregano, thyme and mint to counterbalance the lack of calories. It turned out earthy, bright with lively and distinct individual tastes. The pure summer flavour of the roasted eggplants, zucchini and peppers contrast the crispy phyllo, which echoes their tones of sweetness, bitterness and spiciness in every crunchy piece. You will love it for the texture and the overflowing aromas.
If you want to enrich it, switch the two fatty types: where olive oil put butter – not margarine or another fusion mix. Moreover, you may increase the number of veggie layers as well as the number of phyllo pastry sheets. After all, a strudel is primarily an idea, a recipe concept open to creative cooking experiments and adjustments.
For the vegan version,
you may either skip the parmesan or replace it with your preferable vegan cheese. Or just spread 2-3 tbs of nutritional yeast among the veggie layers.
Please note that all strudels are served hot or at room temperature. They are never reheated in a microwave because they get soggy. If there is some leftover – difficult though – keep it in the fridge and reheat it in the oven at 100-140 C until well warmed through and re-crisp – remember if it’s done on time.
We love hearing how it went. Take a minute and leave us a comment 🙂
Mediterranean roasted vegetable strudel with basil and herbs
Preparation: 70 minutes. 40 minutes for roasting the vegetables and 30 minutes for baking the strudel. Skip the cheese or choose your preferable vegan one for the vegan version. Easy recipe.
Ingredients (for 4-6 people)
2-3 medium aubergines
3-4 medium zucchini
3 bell peppers: 1 yellow, 1 orange and 1 red
15-20 big flat basil leaves (or more if smaller)
6 thin phyllo pastry sheets
virgin Greek olive oil about 80 ml
2 tbs dried oregano or thyme
1-2 tsp dry mint
4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese – skip it for the vegan version or sub with a similar vegan cheese
optional: 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt, freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and line the baking tray with parchment paper.
Preparing the vegetables: Cut the aubergines into relatively thin slices and the zucchini into similar thickness strips. Cut the peppers into 4, removing the stalks and their seeds.
Place the vegetables in the tray and brush them with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Transfer the cooked vegetables into a plate and repeat the process with the rest. Stack the roasted peppers and cover with cling. Allow for 5 min. to sweat and remove their skin by pulling it from the edge or their burnt part.
Lower the oven temperature to 190 C and line the tray (after it has cooled) with clean parchment.
To prepare the roasted vegetable strudel:
Put 3 phyllo pastry in front of you and drizzle with olive oil. Cover the remaining pastry sheets with a towel or cling film to prevent them from drying.
In the centre, make a layer of eggplants and sprinkle with oregano or thyme, mint and parmesan. Add a layer of zucchini, spread a pinch of garlic (if used) and cover with basil leaves.
Fold one side of the phyllo pastry sheets over the vegetables, add another layer of eggplant, herbs and parmesan then wrap the roll.
Take out 3 new pastry phyllo sheets, moisten with olive oil and place the ready roll in the centre. Put the peppers on it followed by the basil and another layer of remaining vegetables on top. Sprinkle with grated parmesan in between.
Turn the sides of the phyllo sheets inwards, brush the edges with olive oil and fold them to form an elongated roll.
With a sharp knife score 6-7 small vertical openings on the surface, without cutting through. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with water.
Baking: Bake in the preheated oven 190 C (at the 3rd rack from above – 2nd from below) for 30 minutes. The phyllo pastry should be golden brown and crunchy. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Serving: Any strudel is served warm or at room temperature. Cut the roasted vegetable strudel on the incisions by using a sharp or serrated knife. Transfer to plates and garnish with some cherry tomatoes and basil leaves or a light roast pepper sauce.