the taste space

Moroccan Vegetable Phyllo Rolls with Balsamic Maple Sauce

Posted in Appetizers, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on February 17, 2012

My Mom doesn’t think I should post recipes that I don’t eat myself. I have to trust others to tell me how it tastes but I can tell you how easy it was to make.  Although even Rob and I can disagree on whether we like a dish, considering both Rob and my parents liked the Tel Kadayif, the Turkish shredded phyllo dough dessert, I deemed that a quorum for a good recipe. And with its stupid-easy simplicity, definitely blog-worthy.

This is another dish I made for others at a party, with no intention of eating myself. In fact, I had planned to use half of the stuffing for the phyllo rolls, and just eat the remainder of the filling myself, without the phyllo dough. Somehow, though, I just kept wrapping the phyllo rolls and by the time I looked down, there was no more filling left. Plus, we were already late for the party, so we brought half the rolls with us and left the other half at home to bake later.

These Moroccan phyllo rolls were so good that I ended up eating them for a few meals.

The filling was very nice, filled with roasted vegetables (zucchini, red pepper, onion and fennel) and spiced with all my favourite savoury Moroccan flavours – ginger, paprika, cinnamon and cumin. I have become scared of roasting veggies with spices, so I added the spices to the veggies right after they were finished roasting. The dried apricots added a touch of sweetness and weren’t overpowering in the slightest. The fresh basil added a nice twist, as well. While the original recipe from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan suggests serving these more like a strudel, because this was for a party, I made them into little appetizer phyllo triangles.

These are nice as is, but let me tell how you awesome these rolls are with the Balsamic Maple Sauce. The sauce was so simple to put together, yet filled with flavour. It didn’t even seem like a lot of dressing but a little bit goes a long way. Actually, refrain yourself, because too much sauce could easily overshadow the subtleties of the rolls.

I still have some sauce leftover and wondering what else I could use it with… Dreena suggests drizzling it over steamed veggies, baked sweet potato or using it for anything that needs to be dipped. Sounds like a good plan!


This is being submitted to this month’s Sweet Heat Challenge, featuring Game Night treats and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

Moroccan Phyllo Vegetable Rolls with Balsamic Maple Sauce

2 cups combination of yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, chopped
3 cups zucchini or yellow squash, cubed
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
2 cups fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 medium bulb)
1/2 cup dried apricots (preferably unsulfured), chopped
5–6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup cooked white beans (or chickpeas, I used Yellow Eye beans)
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil (or parsley) leaves, chopped
8-12 sheets phyllo pastry sheets, thawed (I used 8 sheets)
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (as needed to brush phyllo)

1. Preheat oven to 425F (220ºC). Line 2 wide-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place bell peppers, zucchini, onion, fennel, apricots, and garlic on sheet, and toss with oil and salt. Roast in oven for 35–45 minutes, tossing midway, until veggies are caramelized in some spots and softened.

2. Mix together the cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and pepper.

3. When veggies are finished, toss with spice blend, and mix i  beans and basil, and let cool slightly until able to touch with hands.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 375F (190ºC).

5. Line a baking dish or sheet with parchment paper. For appetizer phyllo triangles (great step-by-step photos here): lightly brush top of one sheet with oil. Then, with a sharp knife, cut 4 strips lengthwise down length of sheet. Place a small spoonful of filling at the base of one strip. Then, fold that corner over to form a triangle, and continue to fold back and forth until you reach the top. Repeat process until you have used up all the filling. Brush tops of triangles with oil. Bake at 375F (190ºC) for 15–25 minutes, until golden. leftovers may be perked up in an oven at 375F for 5-10 minutes.

Note: For a main course, it would be easier to make strudel/parcels: To do this, lightly brush top of one sheet with oil. Place another sheet (not brushed with oil) on top. Spread 3/4–1 cup roasted veggie mixture (filling i too full could make it break) down the center of top sheet, leaving 1–2″ space from edges. Fold left side over filling and roll up, tucking in sides as you go. Brush with additional oil and place in lined baking dish or sheet. Repeat process until all phyllo and mixture are used; you will have 4–6 rolls. Bake for 24–28 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm, drizzled with Balsamic Maple Sauce (recipe below) or mango or tamarind chutney.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.
Makes 32 appetizer triangles.

Balsamic Maple Sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
3 tbsp tamari

1. In a saucepan on low heat, combine syrup, vinegar, oil, garlic, and salt, and heat for several minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine arrowroot and tamari, stirring through until well incorporated. Add tamari mixture to saucepan, whisk to combine, and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil, stirring continually. Let boil gently for 1 minute, then remove from heat and let cool slightly (the mixture will thicken more as it cools down). Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 1/2 cup.

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24 Responses

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  1. Amy (Savory Moments) said, on February 17, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    These look so good. I love Moroccan spices and the sauce sounds like a perfect compliment to the filling.

  2. sprint2thetable said, on February 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I would definitely eat these. Probably way too many of them :)

    That sauce sounds amazing. I bet the leftovers would be great on roasted brussels or asparagus. Maybe also tossed with butternut squash cubes?

  3. Heidi said, on February 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Look yummy!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      I photographed leftovers, so the freshly baked ones were more even in their crispiness… but yeah, they were really tasty (even as leftovers!)

  4. vanillacloudsandlemondrops said, on February 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Wow – these look and sound so fantastic! I love the Moroccan spices and that Balsamic Maple Sauce sounds amazing! Love this recipe so much – thank you for sharing it with us and taking part in this month’s Sweet Heat Challenge : )

  5. Genevieve said, on February 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I love the sound of these! Reminds me of burek I had at a Moroccan restaurant back before I was vegetarian. I’m sure I would love these on their own, but combined with that sauce would be even more delicious! I would use the sauce to drizzle on flatbread or pizza too

  6. Kevin (Closet Cooking) said, on February 18, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    You have some really nice flavours going on here!

  7. Corina said, on February 19, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    These sound gorgeous! I love Moroccan flavours. I’ve actually just made my own filo rolls for the first time and am now eager to try some variations.

  8. Joanne said, on February 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    If we’re being honest, I occasionally post things that i don’t eat. Mostly some of the desserts. I’ll usually have an obscenely tiny square but that’s just to make sure it’s edible. That’s to make up for all of the ones that I DO eat. :P

    I wouldn’t be able to resist these though. There would, however, be a danger that I’d just eat the filling.

    Maple and balsamic are amazing together! I can’t get enough of that flavor combo.

  9. Dawn said, on February 19, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    What an awesome mix of favors! I think I could drink this sauce. On another note where do you get your Aleppo chili flakes? I can’t find me and you use them so much it must be good.

  10. Ranjani said, on February 19, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    What a great party recipe! It sounds so flavorful

  11. Ashley said, on February 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I must admit that I avoid any recipes that call for phyllo! It scares me. So I’ve never really considered making these before. But perhaps I should… they do look really good!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Phyllo isn’t scary, Ashley! Just make sure it has thawed completely before using… and you can totally refreeze anything you don’t use. :)

  12. mskristiina said, on February 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    These look amazing, and the sauce looks divine. I=

  13. mskristiina said, on February 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Whoops, not sure what that little thing on the end of my last comment was.

  14. Cara said, on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Sounds fantastic! I make chicken b’stilla phyllo triangles that are always a huge hit and there’s one element of that recipe that I think really takes it up a notch: In between the layers of phyllo, after brushing with oil or butter, you sprinkle a mixture of finely ground almonds, cinnamon and powdered sugar. The combination with slightly spicy, savory filling is fantastic!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Cara, that is a great idea! I adore bastilla for that very reason… I should experiment and bring out chickpea bastilla phyllo triangles for my next party! :)

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  16. An Irish Village Pantry said, on February 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    These sound fab with tamari and a change from the usual samosas here! Definately on my to-do list, thanks. Sheelagh.

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