When I was an apprentice, strudel was very trendy. My chef would come along when we made apple strudel with his newspaper and slide it underneath, if he could read the small print then that was fine, if he couldn't read the print then the whole lot would be thrown in the bin and you had to start again.
- 2 medium courgettes, washed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 Red onion, peeled and chopped very finely
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp basil, shredded
- 10 pitted black olives
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into 4 slices
- 175 g Cheddar cheese, in 1cm cubes
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 6 sheets Filo pastry, roughly 50cm x 40 cm
- olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly milled black pepper
- Pre heat the oven to 200C Gas 6.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large saucepan. Add the onions and soften for a couple of minutes.
- Add the courgettes and garlic and cook for a further 4 minutes, stirring occasionally try and get a nice colour on the vegetables.
- Spoon the contents into a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the olives, basil, lemon and mix well.
- Lay one sheet of filo pastry onto a chopping board, topped with a clean, lightly floured tea towel. Brush with olive oil, top loosely with another sheet and oil again. Repeat the process until all the sheets have been used up then oil the top sheet. Do not pack down too tightly.
- Repeat the process until all the sheets have been used up then oil the top sheet. Do not pack down too tightly.This is important, even though the oiled sheet is on the inside, this will prevent any steam turning the filo paste soggy from the inside.
- Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, then spoon over the cooked vegetables top with slices of tomato and cheddar and drizzle over a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Roll up the tea towel like a Swiss roll, fold the ends under carefully.
- Roll straight from the tea towel onto a lightly greased baking sheet, brush with oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Bake in the pre heated oven for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden. The timing is a guide, it may take a little longer. A good rule of thumb is, once you think the strudel is ready, allow an extra five minutes. This will ensure the pastry is cooked right through.
- Remove from the oven and slice with a sharp knife
- All you need then is a nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
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