These spinach and feta pastries are a delicious treat for any day of the week! I really wanted to share these in particular as once you get the hang of them they are exceedingly easy to rustle up. Also, if you want to, the filling can easily be varied to anything that you like, providing that it isn’t too wet as filo pastry can easily become soggy if you are not careful.
These parcels are especially great as a finger-food for parties. In my opinion one of the most versatile, delicious, and widely available aids to the host/hostess is filo, with its tissue-paper–thin dough commonly used in Greece and other Middle Eastern countries for the same reason. Plus, because filo pastry is also virtually fat free and that these parcels are baked rather than fried, you can get the lovely crispness of pastry without a truckload of calories along with it.
Seriously, what is there not to like?
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 kg spinach, chopped, stalks discarded
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
- salt, and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 100 g feta cheese, chopped
- 75 g grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 350 g filo pastry, thawed if frozen (I used fresh)
- 50 g butter, melted (add a few tablespoons of olive oil to this mixture for a nice taste to the pastry)
- 50g chopped green olives (optional)
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
2) Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add in the spring onion and onion then fry gently until softened but not browned, for around 2-3 minutes.
3) Add in the spinach and fry, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt.
4) Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5) Set the spinach aside to cool slightly, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
6) Mix in the thyme, nutmeg, feta & mozzarella cheeses, garlic powder and the beaten egg. If adding the olives, do so now. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
7) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
8) Unroll the filo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle.
9) Using a sharp knife, cut the filo pastry into even-sized strips, and re-cover with the towel. Use a pastry brush to brush a strip of filo with melted butter, then layer another piece of filo on top to get extra crispy triangles. Then, place a small spoonful of spinach filling a little away from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles. Continue with remaining strips of the pastry, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
10) Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for around 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp, be sure to check them regularly as they burn very quickly! Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering parchment paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 5-10 minutes.)