lunedì 9 gennaio 2017

Winter vegetables roll

When it comes to fall-winter vegetables all of us use to think about something depressing, isn't it? Yes, they are actually a bit sad but you can turn them charming! 
This roll is a kind of savory strudel, simple to make and quite light. It contents a bechamel base, seared vegetables, crunchy nuts and stringy cheese. You can have a piece of it just as it comes out from the oven or you can wait till it's cold. 
You can choose all kind of vegetables you like the most: we got broccolicauliflowermushrooms and pumpkin out of our fridge. Serve this vegetable roll as an appetizer or with an aperitivo or on a buffet dinner: it will be great. And if you will get any leftover, put it into your lunch box, et voilà

For this recipe we referred to the original strudel: maybe you do not know it, but the real strudel is not made with puff pastry. The wrapping is made only with flour and water. We added just a bit of oil, to make the dough much tender. 
You have to knead, wait for half an hour, then roll down the dough and stretch it with your hands till it goes wider and wider, like it was a phyllo-dough. It is not so difficult. However, you can use the store-bought puff pastry if you think it's better for you. The winter vegetables roll will be delicious the same. 

Servings: 8/10

  • 60 g squash 
  • 100 g mushrooms 
  • 60 g cauliflower 
  • 60 g broccoli 
  • 40 g walnut 
  • 100 g smoked scamorza or other stringy cheese ) 
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 4 handfuls bread crumble 
  • extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, parsley, thyme: to taste 

White sauce
  • 500 g milk 
  • 40 g butter 
  • 40 g all purpose flour 
  • ground nutmeg, half a teaspoon 

You can choose to use store-bought puff pastry
  • 250 g high gluten flour 
  • 120 g water 
  • 25 g e.v.o. oil 
  • 2,5 g sea salt 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tabsp. milk
Difficulty: medium - Time: 1 hour + 30 minutes

First of all we have to make the dough. In a large bowl place the high gluten flour, the salt, the oil and knead. Add water a bit at a time: we needed 120 g of water, but the amount could vary because of the quality of the flour. Do not (never!) use low gluten flour because you could not get the right consistency of the dough. Knead till you get a smooth, non sticky ball. Wrap with cling film and let rest for at least 30 minutes. The more it rests, the better it is. 

Meanwhile clean the mushrooms and stir-fry in a skillet together with a bit of oil and the garlic. When they are done, sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme leaves. Set aside.
Dice the squash, clean the broccoli and the cauliflower florets, then steam the vegetables or stir-fry for a few minutes. Pay attention: they must not overcook, they need to remain crunchy (in fact they will be baked later!). Set aside. 

And now it is time to make the bechamel (white sauce). In a little saucepan melt the butter on low heat. Stir in the flour, all at once. You will get a lumpy, sticky batter: dilute stirring in the milk a bit at a time and stir well with a tablespoon until the mixture thicken. Boil for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat off, season with sea salt and powdered nutmeg, to taste. Set aside to cool down. 

When the vegetables and the bechamel sauce are well cold, take the pastry. Work it with a rolling-pin at first. When the dough is very thin, take it with your hands and gently stretch out, slowly, handling it with the back of the hands (look at the picture above). Go on until the dough sheet will become transparent like a phyllo dough. Thanks to the high-gluten flour the dough will be very soft and elastic so you can stretch it a lot. Do not worry if you will make any holes in the dough: while rolling it, the holes will disappear. 

Place the dough onto a tablecloth or a piece of parchment paper: it will help you in rolling the long strudel. Sprinkle the dough with some breadcrumbs (it will absorb the moisture). 
Roll out the bechamel sauce with a spoon onto the surface of the pastry sheet. Over the sauce, place the little pieces of vegetables, the nuts (coarsley chopped), then season with sea salt, ground black pepper. Finally grate the cheese all over the vegetables. 

Help yourself with the tablecloth or the parchment paper to roll the dough until you run out of it. You can do this way: take the tablecloth/parchment paper, slightly push up then forward the dough. In that way you can easily roll all of the dough.

Place the roll onto a baking tray or an oven wire-rack lined with parchment paper. Beat the egg with two tablespoon of milk and brush the top of the vegetable roll with the egg wash. Bake into fan preheated oven to 180°C for 30 minutes. Enjoy! 

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