Scouse Mrs D and I are meat eaters but we enjoy vegetarian and vegan dishes. I get a lot of inspiration from our holidays and am always trying new ingredients and different ways of cooking vegetarian and vegan dishes.
This recipe was inspired by a visit to a Persian restaurant. A very dear friend, Sheila, took us the last time we were on holiday in Cyprus.
We’d never had Persian food before and it was one of the most fantastic meals we’ve ever had. The dishes were all vegetarian and the combinations of flavours and subtle use of spices was incredible.
This Valentine’s Day, I asked Scouse Mrs D if there was anything in particular that she would like. She requested a vegan dish as she had been zooming with her friend, romantic novelist Melissa Morgan, who is vegan.
So I created vegan Spiced Persian Parcels.
Made from a mixture of vegetables roasted in oil spiced with cinnamon, paprika and ground coriander with ginger, garlic and fresh coriander. The mixture is then wrapped in vegan filo pastry and baked until golden and crisp. I made an orange, pomegranate and olive salad to go with it. The recipe for the salad is in separate post.
I served this with a fruity rosé wine. If you are cooking for vegans or vegetarians, you need to ensure that the alcohol is vegan/vegetarian. I’ll write a post explaining how to check that alcohol is vegan or vegetarian and why it’s so important.
Don’t worry that cooking vegan food necessitates expensive ingredients that are hard to find. All of the ingredients, including the filo pastry, are available at Asda or any large supermarket.
I usually make this recipe for 4 but I’ve halved the ingredients, as it’s a Valentine’s Day dinner just for 2! Or you could make enough for 4 and freeze the leftovers.
If you’ve never tried vegan food before, have a go at this recipe as it’s quick and delicious. Happy Vegan Valentine’s Day!
All the best,
Scouse Mr Darcy
Spiced Persian Parcels
- Large roasting tin
- Pastry brush
- Greaseproof paper, approx. 40 cm x 40 cm
- Baking tray
- 6 shallots or a small onion peeled
- ½ red pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- ½ butternut squash peeled and deseeded
- ½ aubergine
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 200 g of chickpeas drained
- 5 cm piece of ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch Fresh coriander
- 6 sheets of vegan filo pastry I used Asda’s own brand 200g pack
- 100 g of vegan spread I used Vitalite
- Preheat the oven: gas mark 4, 180°C, 350°F.
- Line a large roasting tin with tinfoil and oil it. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and oil it.
- Cut out a large piece of greaseproof paper, approximately 40cm x 40cm, and lay to one side ready for when you are preparing the filo pastry.
- Prepare the vegetables. Cut the shallots in half, or if you are using a whole onion, roughly chop. Chop the peppers, butternut squash and aubergine into medium sized cubes.
- Place in the roasting tin. Make sure that the tin is big enough for the vegetables to spread evenly over the base. If the tin is too small and the vegetables are crammed in, they won’t roast, they will steam and get very mushy.
- Crush the garlic. Whisk the garlic, paprika, ground coriander and ground cinnamon into the olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss well, making sure that they are all coated in the oil.
- Roast for at least 20 minutes, until they are slightly charred at the edges.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and put the vegetables into a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
- Chop the coriander finely. I use a large bunch as I like coriander. However, you may prefer to try just a handful.
- Peel and grate the ginger. Add the ginger, chopped coriander and drained chickpeas to the roasted vegetables and stir well.
- If you haven’t used filo pastry before, you need to work quickly as it dries out and becomes fragile. Melt the vegan spread and remove from the heat. Take the filo pastry from the packet and lay out flat. Wet a tea towel and ring it out well and place the damp tea towel over the pastry. Or you could use kitchen towels.
- Gently place one piece of filo pastry onto the greaseproof paper and brush all over with the melted spread. Place another piece of filo pastry on top of it and brush that piece all over with the melted spread. Repeat so that you have 3 pieces of pastry on top of each other.
- Place a large spoonful of the vegetable mixture in the centre of the pastry. This should in theory be half of your vegetable mixture. But depending on how big your vegetables were, you may need to use less. If you put too much of the vegetable mixture on the pastry, you won’t be able to bring up the edges to form a parcel.
- Form a parcel by bringing two opposite corners of the pastry together. Then bring the other two corners together. Gently press the pastry together so that it forms a parcel.
- Make another parcel and carefully place them on the lined baking tray. Brush both parcels all over with the melted spread.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the pastry as it can burn quite easily.
- Remove from the oven and serve with a salad. You could make a simple green salad. I made an orange, pomegranate and olive salad. T