Monday, April 9, 2012

Eggplant Purses, Jeweled Cous Cous & Asparagus Puree

Crispy phyllo purses filled with caramelized eggplant, red bell pepper and seitan, served with fluffy cous cous studded with almonds, apricots, cranberries and fresh asparagus puree.

Eggplant Purses
serves 4
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 eggplant, peeled, small dice
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
8 oz seitan, small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
salt and pepper
3 tbl chopped, fresh parsley
1 roll phyllo dough, thawed

Saute the eggplant and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until the eggplant has started to brown and break down. Add the seitan and red bell pepper. If the pan is too dry, add a bit more olive oil. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook until the seitan is golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Unroll the phyllo and place 2 sheets on top of each other. Brush with a little bit of olive oil and then top with 2 more sheets. Brush again with oil and finish by topping with 2 more sheets. Cut the phyllo in half horizontally then in thirds vertically, leaving you with 6 squares. Fill each square with a good amount of eggplant mix and bring all of the phyllo up to create a pouch. Flip over and place on the baking sheet. Continue until all of your filling is done.
Brush the tops of each purse with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes or until the phyllo is nice and golden brown.

Jeweled Cous Cous
1 cup water
1/2 cup cous cous
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl dried cranberries
2 tbl minced, dried apricots
2 tbl sliced almonds
salt and pepper

Bring the water to a boil and add the cous cous. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and add the olive oil, cranberries, apricots and almonds. Season with salt and pepper.

Asparagus Puree
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
3 tbl roughly chopped white onion
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper

Sweat the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the asparagus and garlic and saute for 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a blender and add the broth. Blend until smooth, adding more broth if necessary. Taste and re-season.

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