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Vegetarian Holiday Meal from Chef Jessica Roberts

Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Strudel with Parmesan Cream Sauce


Yield: 6 servings




1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes (about 2 cups)

1 small fennel bulb, fronds and core removed and cut into 1/2” dice (about 1 heaping cup)

8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp each finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage (or 1 tsp each dried)

1 lb cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and mushrooms quartered

1 red pepper, cored and cut into 1/2” dice



4 tbsp olive oil, divided

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

5 sheets phyllo dough (do not unwrap until ready to use)




  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the squash, fennel, garlic, herbs, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Place in an even layer on the first baking tray.
  3. In the same bowl, toss together the mushrooms, red pepper, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Spread mixture out evenly on second baking tray.
  4. Roast vegetables for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Squash and fennel should be tender but not mushy and mushrooms and red pepper should be dry with any moisture evaporated.
  5. Remove from oven and toss together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Let cool to room temperature. Vegetables can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
  6. On a clean work surface, place one sheet of phyllo on the counter, long side of the pastry facing you. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining sheets of phyllo and butter.
  7. Spread the roasted vegetables over the phyllo, leaving a 2” border on all sides.
  8. Starting on the long side facing you, fold over the edge of the phyllo towards the middle. Fold in the sides. Start rolling the strudel, gently lifting as you go to not squish out the filling but keeping the roll tight until you get to the end of the phyllo.
  9. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down, and brush outside with melted butter. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  10. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes until the pastry is deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. |Spoon some Parmesan cream sauce on a plate and top with a slice of the strudel.








Parmesan Cream Sauce


Yield: 2 cups




¼ cup unsalted butter

1 large shallot, finely chopped

¼ cup flour

1 cup whole milk

1 cup whipping cream (or use all whole milk)

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper




  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Do not brown. Reduce heat if necessary.
  2. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  3. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Sauce should be thickened and lump free. If there are lumps, strain through a fine mesh strainer and return to pot.
  4. Whisk in the cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and well incorporated. Serve immediately.
  5. Sauce can be made ahead, chilled and gently reheated before using.


Celery Root & Cauliflower Purée


Yield: 6-8 servings



1½ lbs celery root, peeled and cut into 1” dice (about 3 cups)

1 large cauliflower, about 2 lbs, core removed and cut into florets

1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into 1” dice

1 tbsp sea salt

½ cup unsalted butter




  1. Place celery root, cauliflower and potato in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1” and add 1 tbsp of sea salt.
  2. Bring vegetables to a boil; gently boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drain vegetables and return to the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, so the moisture evaporates. Add the butter and pepper and mash until smooth. For a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender or food processor. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.