"When I was a student, I spent the most wonderful time in Vienna where I studied, but was also on the search for new foods and food specialties. I was impressed by the apple strudel, which the Viennese bake in a masterly way, and it was only years later that I had the idea of producing a savoury strudel filled with mushrooms. The result is very good indeed." ~ Antonio Carluccio.
200 g (7oz) filo pastry
60 g (2 1/4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 medium egg, beaten, for wash
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
40 g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
500 g (1lb 2oz) wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned weight
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbs dry sherry
1 Tbs cornflour (cornstarch)
Leaves from 1 sprig of fresh marjoram
30 g (1 oz) Parmesan, freshly grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas 6).
You will want twelve pieces of filo altogether, so count the filo sheets in your packet, and cut if necessary to make twelve. Take three pieces of filo pastry at a time, and brush each sheet with melted butter. Then place on top of each other. Make four such piles, each consisting of three sheets of filo.
Now prepare the filling. Cook the onion in the butter until soft, about 10 minutes, then add the mushrooms with the nutmeg and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the sherry and let the alcohol evaporate a little over the heat, then stir in the cornflour, marjoram leaves and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and leave to cool.
Grease a large baking sheet with butter and line it with baking parchment, then lay on it, one at a time, the four separate piles of filo pastry. Brush the edges with beaten egg, and put a quarter of the mushroom mixture in the centre of each pile. Before folding them up, add about a quarter of the Parmesan to each pile. Close the piles of filo by rolling them up. Moisten the join with beaten egg, close firmly, then place each pile of rolled filo, join-down, on the baking sheet. Brush the beaten egg over all the exposed pastry.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cut the strudels in half if you are serving to more than four people for a starter, otherwise serve each person one whole strudel.
Serves 4–6 as a starter.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio published by Hardie Grant RRP $49.99 available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Laura Edwards
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio published by Hardie Grant RRP $49.99 available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Laura Edwards