Traditional treat has veggie twist with leek and peppers

Roasted Vegetable Strudle and tomatoe sauce.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131809-3)
Roasted Vegetable Strudle and tomatoe sauce. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131809-3)
Ching-He Huang

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This week I am going to be carrying on my quest for children to learn the importance of vegetables.

I have taken a dish that has pretty much been a staple of Eastern European dessert since the 17th Century – the strudel.

Everyone knows it to be a sweet puff pastry with a traditional apple filling with raisins, cinnamon and a lovely dusting of icing sugar on top.

But I have taken the strudel to a new level and made the dish savoury. It’s a great vegetarian main course or as a smaller side dish.

I am a massive fan of pastry in all forms, but I don’t think you can beat some really nice fresh vegetables that are roasted in a light filo pastry.

The caramelisation of the vegetables as they roast will stick to the pastry, forming pockets of sweetness that give a really nice depth of flavour. It’s simple to make and the results are well worth your time.

Cooking is a great way to involve the children in an activity, especially in the making process of this.

It’s a straightforward recipe and method. You never know, at this rate the kids may be making you dinner one day soon.

These strudels are ideal for childrens’ lunch boxes too as you can make them up the day before, so they’re ready for school the next day.

I can pretty much guarantee that once they have one it will be a firm favourite, and not just for school. They are ideal for picnics and lunches on the go.

Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 in Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.

VEGETABLE STRUDEL (Serves two)

Equipment:

Pastry brush

Baking tray

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Small pan

Tea towel

Large saucepan

Ingredients:

A packet of filo pastry

1oz melted butter

Finely sliced onion

Finely sliced red pepper

Finely sliced yellow pepper

Finely sliced carrot, cut into thin strips

One leek, finely sliced

Small handful of green beans

One small clove of garlic, finely chopped

Seasoning

Olive oil

Half a teaspoon of caraway seeds

Method:

This is relatively straightforward as this dish is based on preparation.

Put your large saucepan over a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil.

Fry the caraway seeds with the garlic for 30 seconds – this will release the oils and roast the seeds.

Add all of the vegetables to the pan, turn up the heat and season.

Cook this for approximately four to five minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Immediately tip them onto your tea towel and leave to cool.

Take the filo pastry and one layer at a time gently brush with the melted butter – you need four sheets.

Take the vegetables and place them length ways, leaving an inch gap at each end.

Wrap the filo over the vegetables tucking in the ends until completely rolled.

Place the strudel onto the baking tray. Take the rest of the butter and brush the pastry.

Finally bake in a moderate oven (about 180 degrees) for 20 minutes until golden brown.