A couple of weeks ago, I made a mushroom leek filo for a pre-Thanksgiving get together. I had a half package of filo left. What to do? I also had a butternut squash and a big package of Gruyere cheese that I picked up at Costco.
I had been looking at making Butternut turnovers from Anne Sommerville's "Fields of Greens" but it used a yeasted tart dough instead of filo. Hmmm.... I decided to combine the two recipes and instead of doing turnovers, layer the butternut squash in the filo similar to the other recipe.
I also wanted to make it a little bit smaller since there are only two of us. The mushroom filo dish makes 9x13 which is good for a crowd but a little bit much for just two of us (even for two days). I decided instead to make it in a 8x8 square pan and lay the filo up the side so it would essentially be a square pie. It worked perfect. And it was great with the porcini-chestnut soup and a salad with a mix of bitter and leaf lettuces. Perfect for fall.
Butternut Squash Leek Filo
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes about 3 cups
Salt and pepper
a few fresh thyme springs
2 large leeks, white parts only, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced about 3 cups
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I used only 1 tsp or so)
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
16 frozen filo pastry dough sheets
4-6 tablespoon unsalted butter
Remove the filo pastry from the freezer and let it come to room temperature while you make the filling. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine 2 cloves of chopped garlic with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the cubed squash in a baking dish and toss with the garlic oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and a few pinches of pepper. add the thyme springs, cover and bake until the squash is tender but still holds its shape 25-30 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet; add the leeks, 1/2 tsp salt, a few pinches of pepper and the dried thyme. Saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes until the leeks begin to soften. Add the remaining garlic and cover the pan, allowing the leeks to steam. When tender, after about 8 minutes, add the wine and cook until the pan is nearly dry.
Gently toss the squash and leeks together with the fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter in a small pan. Unfold the dough and cover with a damp towel to keep it from becoming dry and brittle. Butter the bottom of 8x8 pan. Lay down a piece of filo centering on the pan and letting it over lap evenly on opposite sides. Brush lightly with butter. Lay a second piece of filo evenly on the opposite side letting it overlap. (90 degrees to the first piece). It will be making a cross. Brush lightly with butter. Continue laying filo, brush with butter, lay alternate and brush with butter until you have used 8 pieces of filo.
Spread the squash and leek mixture over the filo and spread evenly. Sprinkle cheese over squash. Fold the filo hanging over the sides back over the filling. You will end up with a square of uncovered filing. Brush the top of the filo with butter.
Lay a piece of filo over the top of the filling. Some of the filo will be hanging over the side. That is fine - you will cut it off before baking. Brush with butter and lay another piece over the top. Continue brushing and laying the filo until you have laid 8 pieces of filo. Trim the sides.
Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until golden. Let sit a few minutes and cut. It might be easier to cut before baking but it wasn't too bad since you only need to cut it into 4 pieces.
Tips: I found it worked better in a metal pan than a glass pan. Make certain that you brush the bottom of the pan well with butter.