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Vegetable Bisteeya

serves 4

Sweetened Moroccan-style vegetable pie is made with crispy phyllo dough and flavored with cardamom and cinnamon.

This recipe is part of Andrew Schloss's Sunday Dinners.


2 cups reserved cooking liquid from the curried winter vegetables
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 extra-large eggs
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons reserved eggplant chutney, chopped finely
2 cups reserved toasted cardamom almonds
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter spray olive oil
9 sheets frozen phyllo pastry dough, defrosted
4 cups reserved vegetables from curried winter vegetables


prep: 20 minutes
total: 1 hour


small saucepan
food processor
10-inch deep-dish pie plate


1. In a small saucepan, combine the reserved cooking liquid, cinnamon and cilantro. Heat to a boil and boil until the volume of the liquid reduces to 1/2 cup. Remove cinnamon stick.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the lemon juice. Set aside.

3. Turn the heat down under the reduced liquid so that it barely simmers. Mix in the egg and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a soft mass. Remove from the heat and stir in the chutney. Turn onto a dish and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

4. In the workbowl of a food processor, chop the almonds coarsely. Add half the confectioner's sugar, half the cinnamon and the butter and process in pulses until the nuts start to adhere to each other but still maintain a crunchy consistency. Set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 450F.

6. Spray the interior of a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate with the olive oil. Place a sheet of phyllo across the bottom of the pan and spray lightly with the oil. The edges of the pastry will hang over the rim of the pan. Place another sheet perpendicular to the first and spray lightly with oil. Layer 4 more phyllo sheets in the same way.

7. Scatter a layer of the almonds over the bottom of the phyllo-lined pan. Make a layer of the reserved vegetables on top of the almonds. Layer all but 1/4 cup of the almonds over the vegetables. Spread the egg mixture over top, followed by the remaining almonds.

8. Spray a sheet of phyllo with olive oil spray, fold in half and place on top of the pie. Spray with oil. Repeat with the remaining 2 phyllo sheets. Fold the edges of the phyllo sheets that are overhanging the rim of the pan, inward so that they cover the edges of the phyllo sheets on top of the pie all of the way around. Spray with more oil.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the top is brown. Place a sheet pan on top and invert. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

10. Place the remaining confectioner's sugar in a strainer and sprinkle over the pie. Decorate with the remaining cinnamon. Slide onto a serving platter and cut in wedges to serve.

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