I am always looking out for easy and unusual meat free recipes and I can thoroughly recommend this delicious vegetarian recipe. I have a few vegetarian friends and it is good to have something a bit different to serve them. I am fond of sweet potato and it is lovely in combination with melting cheese and sweet red pepper. The next time we have a church lunch and I have to find a main course for vegetarians, this will be it!
I found a copy of Weightwatchers The Time to Eat Cookbook in a charity shop and this was the first recipe that caught my eye. The original recipe used low fat Leicester cheese, but I used full fat cheese. I had not used filo pastry before but I did not find it too difficult to handle as long as I followed a tip I had heard to keep unused pastry from drying out by covering with a damp tea towel. When the pastry tore slightly it did not cause too many problems: I simply patched it with another piece of pastry. Individual streudels could be served as a light lunch and not just for vegetarians – see below for more information. It would also make an ideal starter to serve before a fish main course. I served the streudel with salad and a Naan bread, although I felt the Naan not really necessary unless you were feeding someone who was very hungry. Do not worry too much if the streudel splits open while cooking.
Sweet Potato & Red Leicester Streudel
450g (1lb) sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
75g (2¾oz) Red Leicester cheese, grated (half fat if you wish)
1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 onion, chopped finely
4 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2. Drain the sweet potatoes well and mash thoroughly.
3. Stir in the cheese, red pepper, onion. Season. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 190oC/370oF/Gas 5.
5. Dip a tea towel in cold water and squeeze out very well. Use this to cover the unused sheets of filo pastry to stop them from drying out.
8. Carefully lift the roll of pastry onto a lightly greased non-stick baking tray. Brush the streudel with the remaining oil and carefully make some diagonal cuts in the top with a sharp knife.
9. Bake for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
10. Cut the strudel into four slices and serve with a mixed salad.