Chestnut, spinach and mushroom filo torte with tomato and ginger coulis

For a warming main dish of crisp pastry and fragrant veggies and crisp pastry, check out this recipe by Celia Brooks Brown
By Celia Brooks Brown
Chestnut, spinach and mushroom filo torte with tomato and ginger coulis
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium


For the torte

  • 500 g spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp thick-cut marmalade, , heaped
  • 400 g chestnuts, cooked, peeled and chopped
  • 400 g mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 5 sheets filo pastry
  • 50 g butter, melted

For the coulis

  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pieces ginger, walnut-sized, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tins canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 160 ml madeira
  • 1 pinches salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinches cayenne pepper, to taste


1. To make the torte, wash the spinach well and trim stalks. Place in a large lidded pot, cover and cook until just wilted, stirring occasionally. Drain and allow to cool slightly, then place on a clean tea towel, wring out all excess moisture and chop.

2. Heat olive oil in the pot over moderate heat and add the onions, mushrooms and spices with some salt and pepper. Sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated.

3. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Stir in the chestnuts and cook for a minute or two, then stir in the spinach and finally the marmalade. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Gas 4. Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a 24cm springform cake tin with melted butter.

5. Moisten a tea towel and unwrap the filo pastry. Take one sheet of filo and cover the rest with the towel to prevent it drying out. Lay the filo sheet inside the tin, pressing it gently into the sides and letting the ends hang over the edges. Brush the pastry lightly all over with butter. Lay another sheet on top at a slightly different radius and repeat the process, buttering each sheet of pastry until completely lined.

6. Spoon in the chestnut mixture and smooth down the top. Fold in the overhanging pastry towards the centre and arrange prettily in standing peaks.

7. Bake the torte for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and stand on an upturned bowl with a smaller circumference than the cake tin. Remove the springform and return the torte to the oven for another 20 minutes to crisp up the sides. Let stand for a few minutes before slicing into wedges with a sharp serrated knife.

8. To make the coulis, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry until fragrant, then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently.

9. Taste for seasoning. Cool briefly and puree. If desired, push through a sieve for an elegant consistency (this is what makes a coulis a coulis). Reheat gently and serve with the torte.

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