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Butternut Squash and Crab Strudel with Pistachios

Strudel Winner - Think Outside the Fillo Box Recipe Contest

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed butternut squash, cut in 1/2” dice
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4.25 ounces lump crab meat (drained weight from a 6-ounce can)
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shelled pistachios
1/2 package of Athens Fillo Dough (about 20 sheets), thawed
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of butter, melted; keep warm

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the cubed squash and onion with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and black pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, tossing the vegetables about halfway through the cooking time. When the squash is tender and browned in some spots and the onion is translucent and just beginning to caramelize, remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Lightly toss the crab with the crème fraiche, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

On a work surface, lay one sheet of fillo dough with the long side towards you, and brush lightly with the melted butter. (Keep the remaining fillo covered with plastic wrap and a damp cloth, per package directions, to prevent the fillo from drying out.) Layer with three more sheets, brushing each lightly with butter, until you have a 4-layer stack. Spoon the crab mixture in a line along the edge closest to you, and then roll it up so that you have a roll of the crab mixture in fillo. Cover this with plastic wrap and a damp paper towel and set it aside.

Take another set of 4 fillo sheets and arrange them so that they form an approximately 20” by 16” rectangle with the long end towards you, overlapping the fillo sheets in the center and brushing with butter underneath the overlapping areas first, and then lightly over the rest of the rectangle. Repeat three more times, using four sheets in each layer so that you have a completed 20” x 16” rectangle stacked four layers high.

Uncover the crab meat roll and place it on the long edge closest to you, about an inch from the edge. Evenly distribute the butternut squash-onion mixture over the rectangle, leaving a 2 1/2- to 3-inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle with the pistachios, maintaining the margin around the edges. Brush all four edges with butter. First, fold the edge closest to you over the crab-filled roll. Then fold the left margin over so that it partially overlaps the crab roll, and then do the same on the right side. Carefully roll the strudel up by rolling it away from you, and place it with the seam side down on a non-stick or parchment-lined rimmed baking pan.

Brush the strudel with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the strudel is a deep golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

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