This delicious and rather impressive Christmas wreath will be the talk of your Christmas dinner this year. Perfect for vegetarians, this wreath packs crisp filo pastry with rice, soft Quail's eggs and handfuls of pine nuts.

This pastry wreath is the ideal centerpiece for your vegetarian Christmas feast. Follow our step-by-step picture recipe to make this tasty showstopper.

Ingredients

  • 8 large sheets filo pastry
  • 50g butter, melted
  • Fresh bay leaves, rosemary and thyme
  • Sprigs, to garnish

For the filling:

  • 12 quail’s eggs
  • 230g basmati rice
  • 350g fresh spinach
  • ½tsp saffron strands
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 3–4 slow-roasted tomatoes or
  • Semi-dried tomatoes
  • 3tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 4tbsp crème fraîche
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 1

To assemble the wreath, layer three sheets of filo on top of each other, brushing each one with melted butter. Arrange half the blanched spinach leaves over the top third of the filo, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border.

Spread half the rice mixture over the spinach and place six quail’s eggs along the top edge. Roll up the filo, transfer to a large greased baking sheet and shape into a semi-circle.

Step 2

Repeat this process with three more sheets of filo and the rest of the filling ingredients. Tuck the pastry edges of the two semi-circles into each other to form a ring about 28cm (11in) in diameter.

Step 3

Lay one of the two remaining filo sheets on top of the other, fold in half and cut out holly leaves with a metal cutter. Separate the leaves.

Brush the wreath with melted butter and decorate with the leaves, then brush them with butter. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden.

Step 4

Transfer to a warm serving dish and decorate with fresh herbs. Serve hot or cold.


Taken from The Busy Mum's Vegetarian Cookbook, Mary Gwynn, Simon & Schuster Illustrated (RRP £20)

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