Saturday, July 24, 2010

Middle Eastern-Inspired Phyllo Triangles with Dill Sauce

(Had to repost this because I was having major formatting issues in the original post.  Apologies for repeats!)

I've labelled this recipe as "World Class Vegan" and under medium difficulty due to the length it takes (1.5 hours) and the use of phyllo. Phyllo is actually very easy to work with, but it does take practice. I've added instructions below.

Middle Eastern-Inspired Phyllo Triangles with Dill Sauce

Time: 1.5 Hours      |      Yield: 8 Servings (Pastries) |      Difficulty: Medium


2 cans soybeans
3 cups cherry tomatoes
2 large onions
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspooon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh spinach (optional)

1 pack phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread
2 tablespoons water, hot
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 soy creamer
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed horseradish
1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon


Begin with preheating oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a deep skillet (or pot) on medium-high.

Coarsely peel and chop onion, and pulse in food processor until they are finely chopped. Add to skillet, and sauté. Meanwhile, add garlic to processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to onions and cook until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Pulse cherry tomatoes in food processor until coarsely chopped and add to onion mixture. Drain and rinse soy beans, coarsely chop in food processor and add to tomato mixture. Cook until it reaches a boil and turn heat to medium-low and add vinegar, almond butter, and spices. Continue cooking at a simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until soybeans are tender. Add spinach, if using, during the last 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool, 10-15 minutes.

After mixture has cooled, begin preparing phyllo dough. Unwrap and lay flat - be careful, phyllo can be delicate and easy to break. With a sharp knife, cut the entire square in half, lengthwise.

Mix oil and water in a bowl. Carefully take 1-2 layers of phyllo and place on clean surface. Using a pastry brush, sparingly brush with oil/water mixture. Make sure to mix the oil and water well before applying to the phyllo. Add another 1-2 layers of phyllo, doing this 3 times in total. Pay special attention to properly aligning the dough - but don't worry if you're off. Once you layers are done, simply take a knife and cut along the edge of the dough to make clean sides. Done properly, you will see a long rectangle before you. The phyllo should be facing you lengthwise.

As the steps to making phyllo triangles can seem daunting, and the instructions are terribly long, here is a great link to a video which shows you how to do it. In the video the cook makes non-vegan spanikopida, but the phyllo directions stay the same! Click here. I’d like to point out that she cuts the phyllo in 3 (width wise), where we are cutting them in 2 (lengthwise), as we are making larger triangles. Also, the cook folds away from her – I personally find it easier to fold towards. Try both ways and continue with whatever feels comfortable for you.

Repeat the steps until 8 triangles are formed, or until filling is used up. When done, mix Earth Balance with hot water and melt together. Heat in microwave if needed.

Using pastry brush, glaze the top of each triangle liberally with sugar mixture, binding any loose edges of phyllo. Place triangles on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Meanwhile, finely chop dill and mix with remaining ingredients. Chill while waiting for phyllo triangles to bake.

When ready, allow triangles to cool for 15 minutes, then serve with dill sauce.

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