For some reason I always have leftover carrots in the fridge. Maybe because I buy too many in one go – they are cheaper in bulk – but whatever the reason I always find myself having to come up with new recipes in order not to waste them.
This simple recipe is a lovely summer supper – sweet soft carrots and salty cheese encased in crispy golden pastry is a real delight. Serve alongside a light salad of oak lettuce with lemon pepper vinaigrette or pack away tightly for a picnic lunch.
Even if you’re not vegetarian, these cigars are perfectly satisfying and have the seal of approval from my resident carnivore.
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Makes: 4 cigars
Prep time: 40 minutes
8 sheets filo pastry
6 medium carrots
200g feta cheese
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper
60 ml water (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 200˚C.
Begin by chopping the carrots in half and then into thin, even batons (roughly 0.5cm wide and 5cm long) – I don’t bother peeling them, but give the skins a good rinse under cold water instead.
In a large heavy based frying pan heat a little olive oil over a medium-high heat. Fry the carrots in the oil with the turmeric until they are soft (5-10 minutes) adding the 60ml water if they start to stick to the bottom. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
While the carrots are cooking, whip together 1 whole egg with the feta cheese and dill until well combined. Stir through the cooled carrots and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Take the first sheet of filo and brush lightly with olive oil before placing a second sheet on top and smoothing out any air bubbles. Fold the longest length in half and spoon on a quarter of the carrot mixture along the bottom edge. Roll up into cigar shapes and place on a flat baking tray. Brush the top lightly with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat until you have four cigars.
Bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Turn the cigars half way through cooking to ensure an even bake.
Cumin instead of turmeric for an earthy flavour.
Add onion, zucchini, kale leaves, or even thin slices of potato in with the carrots and fry together until slightly softened.
Rosemary would be nice if you’re not a fan of dill.
A light salad.