About this recipe:An impressive centrepiece for a festive vegetarian meal, this crisp filo pastry ring is filled with mushrooms, chestnuts, vivid, tart cranberries and cubes of tangy goat's cheese. Serve with cranberry sauce and a mixed leaf salad.
100g bulghur wheat
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
200g button chestnut mushrooms, quartered if large
Put the bulghur wheat into a pan with 750ml cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a medium frying pan. Add the onions and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid or press a circle of greaseproof paper on top of the onions, and cook very gently for 10–15 minutes until the onions are very soft. Uncover the onions and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Tip the bulghur wheat into a bowl, and stir in the onions and mushrooms. Add the chestnuts, cranberries and thyme, plus seasoning to taste and mix well. Cut the cheese into small dice and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Unwrap the filo pastry and arrange 4 of the sheets, slightly overlapping, to make a rectangle about 50 x 30cm, using a little of the oil to lightly brush between the filo sheets.
Spoon the filling along one long end of the pastry, 6cm from the edge. Scatter the cheese over the mound of filling. Fold the border over the filling, then carefully roll up the strudel, like a Swiss roll. Seal the ends together to enclose the filling, then carefully transfer to a large greased baking tray and shape into a horseshoe. Lightly brush with olive oil.
Cut the reserved filo sheets into wide strips using kitchen scissors, then scrunch up and drape over the strudel (this will also cover up any cracks). Brush with the remaining oil. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve warm.
When cranberries are not in season, replace with roughly chopped, ready-to-eat dried apricots. You could also replace the chestnuts with 100g toasted whole hazelnuts.