Every once in a while I come up with a recipe that I make multiple times before posting. Not because it wasn’t right the first time, (though that’s often the case) but other times just because I’m so happy with it that I want to try it on multiple people before I start talking/typing about how wonderful it is. I was lucky that the first time I tried to make up this recipe the insides were perfect, but the phyllo dough was the problem. So I was “forced” to make it again to get that just right. And since I’ve been working remotely from my parents’ house this week, I made the recipe again for them – but this time served it over rice due to my dad’s gluten allergy. Even without the phyllo these mushrooms are delicious. Each time I’ve made it, it’s just gotten better and better!
I was first inspired by the dinner I had down in DC where we had a mushroom phyllo dough dish that I couldn’t stop thinking about. We didn’t even order dessert that night – just another order of delicious mushroom-ness instead. It was dilly and a little spicy but also creamy – I knew I had to try my hand at creating something similar. I went online to see what I could garner from the menu and I noticed “aleppo” Only having heard of aleppo as referring to the town in Syria and not something that has to do with food I was quickly confused. What did we do before Google? Thankfully, I was able to quickly determine that aleppo is actually a chili that is from the region in Syria where it gets its name. Who knew? A lot of internet chatter compared the chili to a mix of cumin and cayenne – either way, it was delicious. And not all that hard to find, my local Williams-Sonoma had it in stock, and it was also available on Amazon for cheaper. I suppose you could also do a mix of cayenne and cumin to see if that works if you don’t want to go through the trouble of finding this random spice – but at that point I can’t vouch for your mushrooms…
This is definitely one of those recipes you want to make when you have a bit of time on your hands. I started with caramelizing onions (which takes about 30-45 minutes) but the depth of flavor added by the caramelized onions is well worth the wait! The sweetness from the onions pairs really well with the heat you’ll get off the pepper and really helps make the dish. So open a bottle of wine, put on some jazz, kick back and let those onions caramelize!
While you’re relaxing with your wine and jazz, add the mushrooms and some of that wine to the pan. You’ll end up turning up the heat from the onions to get the wine to cook off – another tactic that I promise is worth the wait! The good thing about caramelizing and wine cooking is that it’s a relatively low-maintenance process. You can simply put everything in the pan and continue about your chatting, drinking, or TV watching.
Now for the pastry, I found the best way to go was to make little pillows of pastry instead of trying to fold the mushrooms inside like a the original (or as I like to think of it – a Greek burrito). My first attempt I did it that way, and there was entirely too much dough. The little pillows allow you to adjust each bite’s mushroom to phyllo ratio – isn’t that just perfect?
I like to add a little dollop of hummus to the top of mine, along with some additional fresh dill. If you’re a dairy eater – you could use a Greek yogurt or tzatziki. No matter what you choose, I promise this recipe won’t disappoint. Hopefully you’ll be just as in love with it as we all are!
Greek Style Phyllo Mushrooms
What You’ll Need:
- 4 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 5 cups chopped crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
- 1 large vidalia onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup red wine
- 3 teaspoons crushed aleppo chili
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or two fresh cloves garlic)
- 4 tablespoons coconut cream (from the top of a full-fat can of coconut milk)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 12 sheets vegan phyllo dough pastry sheets (for gluten-free option serve over basmati rice instead)
What You’ll Do:
- Start by slicing the onion fairly thickly – it’s going to shrink down a lot during the caramelization process.
- Add olive oil to skillet over low heat, add onions and a dash of salt. Cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Then chop all your mushrooms and set aside while you wait for the onions. Preheat the oven to 375.
- Once onions are pretty much caramelized, add the mushrooms, garlic, and wine to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Let the mushrooms cook and the wine to reduce down until there isn’t any water left in the pan. Turn the heat back down to low and add coconut cream and dill. Cover and let the flavors mix together.
- Fold up the phyllo dough into pillows a little bit larger than the size of a deck of cards and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and flaky.
- Serve mushrooms on top of one phyllo pillow and topped with another, along with (optional) hummus and additional fresh dill.
- Finish off that bottle of red while you eat. Enjoy!