As I survey the detritus of the sickroom (in my case: screwed up tissues, remnants of cups of tea drunk long ago, orange peels and thermometers – inexplicably not only a digital but a mercury one too) scattered around me with eyes glazed from watching far too many episodes of The Wire – it took me 3 tries to get into it but boy, I now have the zeal of the newly converted and I won’t hesitate to recruit – I feel a mild disgust.
Or perhaps the disgust stems from the fact that, in my fevered state, I’ve been mainly ingesting food which requires no thought and less preparation; pasta, frozen pizza (I know, eject me from the food bloggers guild, stat) and toast. I’m a person who requires rather an inordinate amount of green vegetables in my diet but the idea of salad, or, in fact, anything cold just isn’t doing it for me right now which is why I was digging about rather desperately in my freezer hoping to find some hidden gem from the days of yore. Okay, not actually the days of yore but last November or so.
And lo! Anyone watching might have observed on my face the smugness of a domestic feline who has managed to secure for herself the fattiest part of the secretion from a cow’s udder.
Full of green but still satisfying and even somewhat reminiscent of summer; I ate a lot of these for lunch in Greece and I made mini versions for my mum’s Christmas Eve nibbles too.
Have you had the lurgy this winter Northern hemisphere-ites?
I think the first time I ever made these was from a recipe Anna’s mum had but I’ve made them so many times – at work and at home – that I usually change it up quite a bit (onion instead of leek, no nutmeg, sometimes herbs, cottage cheese or not) but here’s how I made them in November.
Obviously it depends how much filling you use but I got about 10. remember, once you remove the pastry from the packet, it’s important to work quickly or it will dry out.
250 grams (9 oz) feta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
300 grams (10.5 oz) spinach, washed thoroughly, chopped roughly and dried
125 grams (4.5 oz) cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Squeeze lemon juice
1 packet of filo pastry
100 grams (9/10 stick or 7 tablespoons) butter
Saute the leeks on low in a large saucepan until soft.
Add the garlic and spinach and cover.
Allow the spinach to steam for 3 minutes or until wilted.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate pan.
Remove spinach mix from heat and put in a bowl with the cheeses, nutmeg, lemon juice, salt and lashings of pepper, mix well.
Prepare 2 just damp teatowels, line an oven tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 fahrenheit).
Lay down a piece of the pastry and cover the rest with the teatowel. Brush the top half (horizontally) with butter and fold in half.
Imagine the long rectangle you now have is divided into squares which are again divided into triangles.
Place a large tablespoon of filling in the bottom triangle of the first square and brush the rest of the square with butter.
Fold over in a triangle, brush the top, fold.
Repeat until the pastry is used up and place the triangle on the prepared oven sheet. Cover with the other teatowel and repeat until all the filling is used.
Either freeze flat on the tray and then transfer to bags once frozen or brush tops with butter and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.