Roughly, very roughly, adapted from my chicken b’stilla recipe, the one that appeared in Naturally Good, published about a hundred years ago! seriously, my first cookbook. random house/faber and faber. self-illustrated. ahead of its times. before my daughter was even born.
flash forward to daughter grown up, with baby and vegetarian hubby. and i realized: she had never tasted my b’stilla!
I came up with this:
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
about 2-3 cups diced butternut squash, pumpkin, calabaza, kabocha, any winter squash, peeled if skin is hard
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger or 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh
a pinch or two of powdered cloves or the buds from 2-3 cloves, or the whole 2-3 cloves, as you like
several large–1/2 teaspoon?–pinches turmeric
about the same amount of cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2-3 cups water
1 vegetable stock cube
Juice of 1/2 lemon or bottled lemon juice to taste
1/2-2/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 lb filo dough
oil to drizzle on the layering of the filo
cinnamon and confectioners sugar to dust on top at the end
In a saute pan lightly saute the onions in olive oil, until softened, not browned, then add the garlic and pumpkin, sprinkle with the ginger, cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin, slowly cooking in the oil until the squash is about half-cooked; add the parsley, cilantro, stock cube and water, then cook over high heat until squash is cooked through.
Remove the squash from the pan and boil the liquid down until it reaches about 1/2 a cup or so, tasting for a vivid intensified reduction. Add the lemon juice, return the squash to the mixture, and set aside. You can do this the day before if you like.
Lightly beat the eggs with about 1/2-2/3 of the liquid from the squash, then scramble them softly only until curds form. Set aside to cool.
Line a baking pan with filo dough, brushing or drizzling olive oil on each layer; after 5 or 6 layers, sprinkle the nuts and about 2/3 of the egg mixture.
Oil and layer another 4-5 sheets of filo, then layer the squash and the rest of the egg. Wrap up the edges of the filo, oiling each one a small amount, say, a drizzle, then top with the rest of the filo dough, again oiled, maybe another couple of layers.
Bake at 375F/160C/gas mark 5 until the edges of the pastry are golden browned, say 30 minutes?
Remove from oven, and dust the pastry with confectioners/icing sugar and cinnamon, and serve. Best eaten with your hands, it goes without saying…..