With some leftover phyllo in the freezer from recent spanakopita adventures, it seemed fortuitous that I came across this recipe that was waiting patiently in an old recipe file. (Remember the days of clipping out recipes from magazines?!)
Crispy layers of phyllo are a quick ticket to deliciousness, and it just seems like a good idea to bundle together some aromatic herbs, basmati rice, and bright fresh vegetables. On gloomy January days, an infusion of colour is a cheerful thing on the plate.
One thing about this recipe: I found the mixture a little dry. Next time, instead of layering the ingredients as described in the original, I’m going to mix them all up together so that the cheese can hold it all together a bit better, and I’ll add a beaten egg to the mix as well. If I modify the recipe in the future, I’ll make the additions to this page, but for the time being, feel free to stick to the below (original) description or tweak a bit as feels right when you’re making them.
This is such a fun, healthy recipe, you really can’t go wrong with giving these turnovers a go. They are also great to make ahead and freeze, and then bake from frozen when you want a quick meal on the table.
Fresh Vegetable Turnovers with Goat Cheese
Originally published in Chatelaine Magazine
Yields 8 turnovers, or four servings
These crisp turnovers make for tasty little bundles full of healthy goodness. They’re great to make-ahead and keep in the freezer until you’re ready to bake, and make nice leftovers, too–though they are definitely best served hot from the oven. Choose whatever vegetables you like for the filling. In the winter, serve along a bowl of hot soup. In the summer, try them alongside some grilled chicken.
4 cups finely chopped mixed fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, onions, broccoli; you can also mix in some frozen peas or corn
2 tbsp olive oil (or 2 tbsp melted butter)
8 sheets phyllo pastry
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup ( 250 mL) creamy goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
pinches of salt and pepper
If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, cook rice according to package’s instructions. When finished, set aside to cool slightly before using.
Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables, finely chopping them until you have 4 cups worth. In a large pot of boiling water, steam until brightly-coloured, about 2 minutes. Drain, then rinse with cold water and drain again.
With a pastry brush, light brush some oil across 1 sheet of phyllo pastry. (Cover remaining phyllo with a damp tea towel to prevent drying out.) Fold in half lengthwise and brush top surface.
Mound about 1/2 cup of vegetables at one end. Top with 2 tbsp rice, 2 tbsp of goat cheese, 2 tsp of chopped fresh basil, and pinches of salt and pepper.
Fold as if folding a flag until it forms a triangle. Brush with oil again. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Make 8 triangles. (If freezing to make ahead, cover sheet firmly with saran wrap and place in freezer. Keep for up to one month in freezer.)
Bake in preheated 375F oven until browned, from 12 to 15 minutes. (If baking from frozen, add about 5 min to baking time.) These are definitely best served hot from the oven.
per 2 turnovers: 230 calories; 10.8g fat; 24.9g carbs; 2g fibre; 8.4g protein