Spinach and Corn Strudel

This is fun and easy. The fillings can be changed to reflect the season. I have made this with mushroom, seafood and other seasonal vegetables. The first time I served this I made a fresh tomato sauce but it works just as well with a good salsa or pasta sauce.

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Ingredients

1 cup part skim ricotta
2 Tbs Parmesan grated cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
nutmeg to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps olive oil
8 oz fresh mushrooms
5 cups raw spinach leaves
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato sauce, salsa or canned tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce

3 medium tomatoes
salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Pepper taste
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
6 fresh basil leaves

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, chill them in an ice bath, and remove their skins and seeds.

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomato flesh for about 5 seconds. Add the salt, sugar and pepper.

with the machine running, slowly add the oil and vinegar, blending for 2 to 3 minutes to make a smooth mixture.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the basil.

Preparation

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly flour a sheet pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, corn, egg whites, lemon zest, nutmeg and seasoning until well combined. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the spinach over medium heat, stirring for about 3-5 minutes. Dry the spinach by wrapping in a cloth towel and squeezing gently. Chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

While the spinach is drying, saute the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil, make sure to drain off any excess liquid.

Brush a sheet of phyllo with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Place a second sheet on top of the first and brush it with another tablespoon of melted butter. Repeat with the other sheets.

With the long side of the phyllo toward you, spoon the ricotta mixture on the bottom third of the phyllo dough. Spread spinach and mushrooms on top. Top with the mozzarella shreds.

Roll the phyllo up from the bottom, like a log, tucking the sides in so the filling won’t fall out.. Place the roll on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

The serve, ladle the tomato sauce onto 4 plates. Cut 4 slightly diagonal 1 inch crosswise slices of strudel.Place each one a bit off center and cut side up so the pinwheel design of the filling shows. Slices the remaining strudel into 4 pieces, each with a straight crosswise edge and a slightly diagonal edge. Stand one slice on its straight edge and one slice laying down, on the plate.

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