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Sweet Onion Baklava

A savory vegan version of the Greek baklava that will make a most memorable side dish.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 yellow onions, half moon slices
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 fresh ginger root, grated, juice extracted
1 tablespoon kuzu, dissolved in 3 tablespoon of cold water
2 cups blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
15 sheets thawed phyllo dough
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute; with a generous sprinkling of salt until translucent, about five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook the onions covered for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the rice syrup and ginger juice and cook uncovered until the mixture thickens slightly about ten minutes. Stir in the dissolved kuzu and cook stirring until the mixture thickens and turns clear about three minutes more. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of the 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Place blanched almonds in a food processor and grind into a fine meal. Add cinnamon, and pulse just to combine.

Fold one sheet of the phyllo in half crosswise and fit into the prepared pan. Brush lightly with oil. Repeat folding and layering five more sheets of phyllo, creating a multi-layer base. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup of the ground almonds. Spread half the onion filling over the almonds and sprinkle with another half cup of the ground almonds. Fold, layer, and oil five more of the sheets over filling sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the ground almonds and top with the remaining onion filling. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the almond mixture.  

Fold, layer, and oil the remaining five sheets of phyllo over the second layer of filling, except this layer, sprinkle a little of the reserved almond mixture between each folded sheet. Brush the top lightly with oil. With a sharp knife, score the top sheets diamond shapes are most common for this dish to mark 24 servings. Bake in the center oven rack about fifteen minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and cool the pan on a wire cooling rack. Cut into servings and serve warm.  

Makes 12 servings


Vita Bella
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