Christmas is upon us and where there is Christmas, there is feasting. Thinking of a meatless option that even my grandparents would eat can be a challenge. No tofu burgers or nut loaves here. I’ve been sorting through recipes and this one may make the Christmas cut.
“Adding squash to your Christmas menu ensures that you are eating with the seasons. Squashes are often harvested before the frost and can last for months in storage. Squash is a great source of potassium, magnesium and folate.”
Eating with the seasons can be difficult in winter. It takes some preparation and maybe some sacrifices of our favourite foods. In BC some local winter vegetables include winter squashes, pumpkins, spinach, watercress, shallots, rutabaga, potatoes, radishes, garlic, fennel, eggplant, carrots, beets, arugula, celery and celeriac. And don’t forget, cultivated mushrooms can be enjoyed year round.
This recipe was adapted from Joy The Baker. The olive oil crust with seeds is what got my attention. But once you cook these pockets up, it is the filling that takes centre stage.
Recipe for Roasted Mushroom and Squash Pockets
For the Crust
- 2 cups flour organic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper ground
- 1 large egg free range
- 1 large egg white free range
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the Filling
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 5 large brown mushrooms sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- pinch nutmeg ground
- 1 large egg for egg wash
- Combine flour, salt, seeds and black pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, egg white, water and olive oil.
- Add the wet ingredients to dry and stir together with a fork. Once mixed thoroughly turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead until all the dough comes together. Add more flour if necessary. Place the dough in the refrigerator while making the filling; you can leave it to rest for up to two days in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees F.
- Slice the acorn squash into 1/2-inch thick semicircles and scoop out the fibres and the seeds. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Slice the onions into 1/4-inch semicircles and add to the baking sheet as well. Smash garlic and toss it onto the baking sheet.
- Add cleaned, sliced mushrooms onto baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are softened and browned, about 25 minutes.
- Let cool then scrape the squash from their skins. Mix squash filling with onions, garlic and mushroom. And add cumin and nutmeg. Season to taste.
- Divide the dough into 6 even balls and roll them out to 6 8x8-inch squares. Add about 1/4 cup filling into the centre of each pastry. Lightly brush the edges of each pastry with egg wash. Now bring two opposite corners of the dough towards the centre and pinch together. Life the two remaining corners up to the centre, matching the seams so they meet to form a raised ridge. Crimp the edges to seal. Brush with egg wash.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place finished pockets onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown and bubbling. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with your favourite chutney!
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition, and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.