Mushroom Strudel is my favorite company dinner and I’m making it this weekend for Easter. It’s adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, an older collection of recipes that definitely puts the “lacto” in lacto-ovo vegetarian! It was super easy to veganize, though, and I’m really happy with the results.
Traditionally, strudel recipes are made with phyllo (also spelled filo) dough layered with lots of melted butter. But olive oil works very well and, in fact, the instructions on the phyllo package say that it’s fine to use oil. The filling substitutes were easy—I used Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream.
If you’ve never worked with phyllo dough, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how quickly you can put together a meal that looks very fancy.
A couple of quick notes about working with phyllo: The key to success is to keep the phyllo from drying out. The sheets of dough are like very, very thin sheets of delicate paper. After unwrapping the stack of sheets, cover them immediately with a tea towel or a sheet of waxed paper. Each time you remove a sheet from the stack, re-cover it with the towel or paper. Don’t worry if the sheets break or tear; you can still use them and your strudel will look just fine.
Here is my recipe for Mushroom Strudel. (I’m serving it with baby potatoes and carrots roasted with garlic and rosemary and a tossed salad of baby greens. The strudel is rich, so this is all you need for a very satisfying meal.)
Vegan Mushroom Strudel
10 leaves of phyllo dough (find this in the dessert section of the grocery store’s freezer section)
About ½ cup olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, finely chopped in a food processor
8 oz Better Than Cream Cheese
1 cup Better Than Sour Cream
1 cup plain bread crumbs (I think seasoned would be just fine, too)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (use lots of the green portions)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until they are tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, bread crumbs, parsley, and scallions. Mix thoroughly so that the cream cheese melts. Set aside.
Unwrap the phyllo dough and cover it with a towel or waxed paper. Peel off one layer of the dough and place on a large cutting board or any clean surface. Using a pastry brush, brush the single sheet of phyllo with olive oil. Peel off another sheet of phyllo and place on top of the first. Brush with olive oil. Repeat until you have a stack of 5 sheets.
Spread half of the mushroom filling log across one end of the stack.
Starting at this end, roll the phyllo up like a log. Tuck the ends over to make a neat little package. Using a serrated knife, score the strudel about 6 times across. This will make it easier to cut into pieces after it’s baked. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds on top.
Repeat the process to make a second strudel. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until just browned on top. This should serve 6 people, but of course, it depends on how hungry they are!