I can remember the first time I tried Bastilla. The combination of savory, sweet and cinnamon was unforgettable. It instantly became is one of our favorite Moroccan dishes. But because it is traditionally made with pigeon (chicken in the America), it's been a long time since we've had it. This month's mingle Arabian Nights reminded me that I should try to create a vegetarian version that we can enjoy. Our version is less time consuming than any of the chicken recipes I've seen online. This is our first mingle, and we're pretty excited. Give it a try and tell us what you think!
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
pinch of saffron
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cups raw sliced almonds
1 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup oil (for brushing)
1 8-ounce pack of phyllo dough (defrosted)
confectioner's sugar (for garnish)
ground cinnamon (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a pan over medium flame, heat the olive oil.
Add the mushrooms and onions. Cook until onions are just softened. Add the ginger, saffron, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, lemon juice and chopped parsley.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the vegetable broth. Pour this mixture into the pan of mushrooms, and stir constantly, until the eggs curdle and are evenly distributed in the mixture and most of the liquid is cooked off. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Toast the sliced almonds in a frying pan, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add the sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and toss lightly. Let cool. Pulse in food processor until finely ground.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Lay 3 sheets of phyllo dough on a plate. Brush oil on the phyllo. Add 2 more sheets and brush with oil.
Place about a half cup of mushroom/egg mixture in the center of the phyllo in about a 5 inch circle. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the ground almonds on top of mushrooms. Fold over the edges of the dough over the filling to complete enclose. Brush the seams with more oil, and place seam side down onto the baking sheet. Brush the top with more oil.
Continue with the rest of the filling and dough.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Lightly dust with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon.
Makes 4 medium sized bastilla.