Phyllo and Vegetable Parcels

adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle

1 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/4- inch dice
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon (scant) finely chopped mint (optional)
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons chopped thyme (optional — can use oregano or another fresh herb)
about 6 mushrooms, diced
1 bunch spinach, washed, with stems removed, and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 package phyllo dough
1/2 cup melted butter

In a heavy, small saute pan over medium heat, saute tomatoes, yellow onion and garlic in the olive oil, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar; saute, stirring constantly, until vinegar evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Reserve.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute red onion, mushrooms and spinach in the 3 tablespoons butter, stirring frequently, soft 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, in remaining herbs; season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Unfold phyllo dough; keep unused sheets covered with damp paper toweling. Lightly brush 1 sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo; brush lightly with butter. Using a sharp knife, cut phyllo dough in half, width-wise. Cut each half into 4 even strips to make 8 strips.

Place a generous 1/2 tablespoon of spinach mixture at the base of 1 strip. Top with a scant 1/4 teaspoon of sun-dried tomato mixture. Fold a corner of the strip over the filling to enclose it. Continue to flag-fold the strip into a neat triangle. Lightly brush edges with some butter. Repeat with remaining strips.

Repeat process 6 more times, using 14 sheets of phyllo in all. Chill triangles for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the triangles until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool briefly on a rack. Serve warm.

Note: Follow the instructions on the phyllo package in terms of thawing the dough; most is sold frozen, so you’ll need to place in the fridge before using. Try to plan ahead it will have enough time to thaw properly before using.

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