These Leek, mushroom, and Parmesan phyllo pies are just a little bit decadent but make a fabulous vegetarian snack with a versatile filling that can be used in many ways.
As is the starting point of most of my recipe ideas, these came about as a result of having a large number of leeks and mushrooms leftover from a TV shoot. Normally the last thing I feel like doing is cooking after working on TV production, but I also hate wasting food, so I allow myself a day or two to recover and then I’m back up and running with enthusiasm in the kitchen.
It is my favourite pastime to think about how I am going to turn available ingredients into something interesting, and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of writing this blog.
It may seem like a lot of filling, but it shrinks down when cooked to make 12 medium-sized pies using 6 sheets of phyllo.
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 3 cups of finely-chopped leeks which have been trimmed and washed
- 1 shallot finely chopped (or half a small white onion)
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
- 5 cups of chopped black mushrooms (about 1/2 – 1cm dice)
- 60g of butter
- 1 T chopped fennel leaves (or dill)
- 1 T of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup of cream
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 6 sheets of phyllo pastry (2 sheets per 4 pies)
- melted butter and olive oil (1/2 and 1/2) for brushing down the pastry
First, make the filling by heating the olive oil in a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and fry the leeks and shallot until they soften (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and the remaining butter and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes and until all the water has evapourated. Add the herbs and cream and carry on cooking until it thickens again. Add the Parmesan cheese and turn off the heat allowing the cheese to melt into the mixture which should be fairly thick. Add salt and pepper, test, and adjust if necessary. Allow the mix to cool slightly, making it easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 180 C and working fairly quickly unroll 2 sheets of phyllo off the roll. Flip one half of the phyllo sheet back and brush the entire surface with the melted butter/olive oil. Fold the top phyllo sheet back over the buttered surface and repeat with the other half of the sheet. Cut the sheet in half down the center and then each half into half again. Spoon a dessert spoon of mix into the bottom corner and roll it up into triangles.
If you need further details or alternative instructions on this, you can check out my previous post on making spinach and feta pies.
*Remember to roll the remaining phyllo up tightly, put it back in its plastic bag and box and refreeze.
Arrange the pies next to each like a puzzle so they fit on one baking tray which is lined with silicone paper or baking paper, brush the tops with the olive oil / melted butter mix and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.
This filling would work well on toasted bruschetta or open phyllo tart cases. You could replace the Parmesan cheese with Gruyere or feta.
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