Sunday, July 18, 2010

Curried Summer Squash and Coconut in Filo with Cilantro Almond Pesto

I had bought a large amount of zucchini, yellow crookneck and pattypan squash, and although I love it simply roasted, I thought it might be nice to make something a little more creative with it.  I came up with the idea of enclosing it in crispy filo dough triangle.  At first I was thinking I would like something more on the mediterranean side with sun dried tomatoes and basil, and maybe a basil pesto to go alongside...but my mind shifted to something curried rather quickly when I decided that I wanted to use a bit of cilantro in the dish.  I don't consider myself a curry expert by any means, so this would be a bit of an experiment...a lot of tasting to get the filling right.  So, not knowing exactly what I wanted to add to this squash for the filling, I started roasting the squash...then decided to add onions and toasted coconut to the filling.  I threw in some curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon, along with a touch of cayenne, and tasted it.  Rather good for throwing it together, but it needed something a little rich...almond butter!  I grabbed my almond butter and spooned a bit in, and then the filling was just perfect, once I added some fresh cilantro and sea salt.  I started folding up the triangles, and by the time I was done, the filling ended up being just the right amount...with room for a bit of large tasting samples of course!  While the triangles were baking, I whipped up a batch of cilantro almond pesto to go alongside. It ended up rather zingy, bright and fresh with the citrus and cilantro, but also a bit nutty from the almond...a perfect accompaniment to the sweetness of the curried squash in the triangles.  Altogether I was very happy with the finished dish!  I couldn't wait long for them to cool, tasting them soon after they were removed from the oven.  I loved the way the crispy filo contrasted with the sweet squash filling!  The filling itself had just the right amount of spice, and richness with the addition of the almond butter and was a wonderful use of summer squash!  These are good at room temperature as well, I should know, since I went back for more.  If you have lots of summer squash you should definately try these out...they may have a lot of ingredients, but are really actually quite simple to prepare. 

Curried Summer Squash and Coconut in Filo with Cilantro Almond Pesto

2 lbs summer squash

coconut oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut, toasted
1 Tbsp sweet curry powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cloves garlic
juice and zest of one lime
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
10 Tbsp butter, melted

10 sheets filo dough
1 cup cilantro
1 cup almonds
1/4 cup almond oil
juice of 2 large limes
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
sea salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Toss zucchini with just enough coconut oil to coat, and spread out on sheet.  Roast for about 20 minutes until starting to brown, and remove from oven and place in a large bowl.  Meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet, heat about 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat, and add onion.  Saute until tender, and add to bowl with zucchini.  Add coconut, curry powder, sea salt, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, lime juice and zest, almond butter and cilantro, and mix until well blended.  To assemble, place one sheet phyllo on work surface, and use a pastry brush to coat one half of it with butter. Fold in half lengthwise, and brush top with more butter. Fold in half again to make 4-inch strip of dough. Brush strip with butter, then spoon about 3 Tbs. zucchini mixture on corner of bottom edge. Fold corner across to make a small triangle, then fold up like a flag, enclosing nut mixture in triangle of phyllo. Brush both sides of phyllo triangle with butter, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining phyllo sheets, butter, and zucchini mixture. Bake about 20-22 minutes, or until triangles are golden. Transfer to wire rack, and cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10 triangles

1 comment:

penny aka jeroxie said...

What a lovely idea! :)