A savoury pastry tart.
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
4 globe artichokes
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 zucchini, diced
Scant 1/2 cup vegetable stock
Pinch of ground mace (optional)
Scant 1 cup ricotta cheese
9 oz. puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp dried mushrooms
2-1/4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Step 1: Fill a bowl halfway with water and stir in the lemon juice. Trim the artichoke stems, remove any course leaves and the chokes, and cut the artichokes into slices immediately to the acidulated water to prevent discolouration.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the garlic cloves and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until golden. Remove and discard.
Step 3: Drain the artichokes and add to the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add the zucchini, stock and mace, if using, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Meanwhile, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ricotta.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Step 7: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured counter. Spoon the vegetable and ricotta mixture on top, spreading it evenly and leaving a 3" margin at the shorter ends. Fold the ends over the filling, then roll up from a long side. Brush the top with the beaten egg, sprinkle over the sesame seeds, and make diagonal incisions in the dough with a small knife. Carefully transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Step 8: Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the mushrooms into a heatproof bowl, pour in warm water to cover, and let soak for 30 minutes, then drain, squeeze out the excess moisture, and chop.
Step 9: Pour the stock into a pan and bring to a boil.
Step 10: Meanwhile, melt the butter in another pan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the hot stock, a little at a time, stirring continuously. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a whisk, for about 20 minutes.
Step 11: Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley. Remove the pan from the heat. Slice the strudel and put the slices on individual plates. Pour 1-2 tbsp of the hot sauce next to each side and serve immediately.
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Reprinted with permission from Phaidon's Vegetables From an Italian Garden, $45 (2011 Phaidon).