Autumn squash is a versatile thing – for cooking and baking it’s mild sweetness and creamy texture lends itself to cakes as much as savoury dishes. Here we made a vegan version of the classic Moroccan dish Pastilla (Bastilla). Traditionally stuffed with pigeon, cinnamon and raisins, we kept the idea of sweetened spice but adapted to a vegan diet.
So we roasted some diced butternut with a little cinnamon, cumin, red pepper and seasalt. Then a quick stir fry with some red onion and boiled chickpeas.
For sweetness we added a little sweet potato caramel. ‘What the ///**?’ we hear you ask. Well sweet potato caramel is a clever little idea we got from Bon Appetit magazine. One ingredient – Sweet potato (in case you were wondering!) – roast it with some water in the pan. Once cooked, squeeze the juices out of the potato through a muslin cloth. It will need a little reducing by simmering in a pan but then it forms a thick glossy caramel. Substitute for honey or maple syrup, but this is a perfect natural sweetener and complements well the flavours of butternut squash.
Wrap the cooled filling in sheets of filo pastry. We brushed the layers with olive oil to keep it vegan. Butter may give a crisper texture if you are not concerned about dairy.
Scatter some flaked almonds on and bake. For a proper traditional finish, these Moroccan Vegetarian Bastilla needs a dusting of icing sugar – we added a bit of cinnamon.
Serve with a roasted red pepper and hazelnut dip – unashamedly based on the traditional dip Muhammara which uses walnuts instead of hazelnuts.
Quickly prepared in a high speed blender, our recipe will make extra – perfect for serving with crudites or as a sandwich filler.
- For the Bastilla
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper
- Half teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- Half red onion
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 240g Chickpeas- cooked and cooled
- 2 teaspoons sweet potato caramel (or maple syrup)
- 4 sheets Filo Pastry
- Olive oil to brush pastry
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- Icing sugar to dust
- For Red Pepper and Hazelnut dip
- 2 large red peppers
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Half teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- Preheat oven to 200 Deg C
- Coat the squash with spices and 1 teaspoon oil
- Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until soft
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until it is golden brown
- Add the garlic and the cooked butternut
- Add the chickpeas and warm through
- Add the sweet potato caramel or maple syrup
- Put the filling aside to cool
- For each pie (you will have enough filling to make 4 pies):
- On a greased baking tray, place the first sheet of filo and brush with olive oil
- Top with the second sheet of filo, brush with oil and repeat until you have 4 layers
- Put the filling in the centre and fold the filo layers over to close the pie.
- Turn the pie over so the folds are at the bottom
- Scatter almonds over the top
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the bastilla is golden brown
- As it bakes, make the dip - roast red peppers and place them in a sealed food bag to help the charred skin rub off.
- Place the peeled peppers with the remaining ingredients in a blender and blitz to a thick paste consistency
- Sprinkle with icing sugar when still warm
- Serve warm with the dip
for more midweek meal inspiration Jac has 21 vegan meal ideas here.
Camilla has this lovely Carrot and Coriander soup we are bookmarking to make.
As the temperature dips, we are thinking about sprouts – of the Brussels kind and these sauteed ones by Jeanne are on our to do list as well.
There are some lovely figs around at the moment and Kellie has this savoury bake with figs and chicory
Non vegan meal ideas include these cheese stuffed flatbreads from Becca
A feta and sunblush tomato from Katie
and this curry flavoured cheese and onion toastie from Margot
Michelle has a lovely rice and vegetable bake
For sweet treats we have the following on our radar:
a matcha tea infused version of tiramisu by Helen
this amazing raspberry, fig and pistachio cake by Laura
Some ice cream – this dairy-free strawberry ice cream with coconut milk from Elizabeth
and this pomegranate mint smoothie from Michelle