Cream Cheese and Spinach in Filo Pastry

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

Floyd Around the Med

Floyd Around the Med

By Keith Floyd

Published 2000

  • About

The Greeks love these little triangular, puffed, savoury pastries. They are very easy to make and you can use any kind of filling you like. For example, spicy minced lamb in a thick tomato sauce with coriander and chillies; purée of salt cod; or cooked, chopped courgettes instead of spinach. The minced lamb filling would be good with a bowl of that much-loved Greek yoghurt dish, tzatziki.

Ingredients

  • 900 g/2 lb fresh spinach
  • a large knob of butter
  • grated nutmeg
  • 225 g/8 oz top-quality cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 packet filo pastry
  • melted butter for brushing
  • a little beaten egg to glaze
  • sesame seeds
  • sea salt and black pepper

Method

Cook the spinach with the butter and no water whatsoever in a pan with a lid. Leave to cool, then strain off the liquid and chop the spinach finely. Season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg. Beat together the cream cheese and eggs, then mix this with the spinach and mint.

To make each pastry, take a sheet of filo pastry and cut a strip about 10 x 20cm/4 x 8 inches. Lay it on a work surface and brush with melted butter. Before you add the filling, turn the top left-hand edge of the pastry over to meet the right-hand straight side (this forms the triangular shape), then unfold it. The mark left will show you where to put the filling. Place a tablespoon of the filling to the right side, refold the corner and seal the edges. Repeat the triangular folding until you have a complete packet. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds, place on a buttered baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Serve hot or cold.