I love serving little bites like these vegetarian filo purses at a party. A few small plates and some wine creates a simple theme for a party that flows lightly: some people sitting, some standing, some dancing, and everyone tasting different things. It’s so easy and so much less stressful — you can make everything in advance, the variety will please everyone, and you won’t have to set a proper table.
Make these filo purses any size you like, bite size or larger. If you decide to make them really small, they will be cute and tempting bite-sized presents for your guests to unwrap. Surprise them with the flavor of what you put inside. I love these with a dollop of warm black cherry preserve, but they are also wonderful served with cherry or fig preserves.
Makes about 10–12
1 package filo dough
1 leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 ounces fresh Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
3.5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
3.5 ounces roasted chestnuts, crushed
1 tablespoon Cognac
6 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil, for sautéing
4 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
small bunch of fresh chives
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Sauté the leek and garlic, then add the mushrooms and chestnuts. Cook for few minutes, then pour the Cognac in and let it evaporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
Cut a single sheet of filo into four squares. Lightly brush one side of a filo square with olive oil then place another square on top of it so you have two layers.
Spoon some of the mushrooms into the center and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Gather the corners and twist them together to secure the purse. You may leave it like that or, as I as I like to prepare them, tied up with the chives. I replace the chives with fresh ones when I serve them.
Mix the beaten egg with the poppy seeds and brush all over each purse. Place them on a baking tray lined with pan lining paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 15–20 minutes or until golden brown.