Seskoulopita

Currant, Walnut and Chard Turnovers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    40

    turnovers

Appears in

COOKS on the island of Tinos use the leaves of Swiss chard the way Westerners use rhubarb, tucking them into these festive turnovers. Traditionally made for Christmas, the turnovers are fried and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. The recipe is based on one from Nikoletta Delatolla’s book Traditional Recipes from Tinos. If you don’t want to make the phyllo dough, use wonton skins.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3½–4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons safflower oil
  • cup dry white wine or beer

Filling

  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio
  • cups coarsely ground walnuts
  • cup honey, preferably thyme honey
  • ½ cup Zante currants
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Olive and safflower oil for frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Method

Make the Dough

In a large bowl, combine 3½ cups flour and the baking powder. Add the oils and wine or beer and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until a soft, oily dough forms. If it is too soft, add a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Make the Filling

Rinse the chard and place it in a large skillet over high heat. Cover and let wilt for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing often. Add the water and rice, bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the water and is almost cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts, honey, currants and cinnamon. Let cool.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Cut off one ½-inch-thick slice at a time and flatten the slice with your fingers to form a 4-inch round. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center and fold over to make a semi-circular turnover. Brush the edges with the egg and crimp the edges to seal. Place on a platter or a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

In a large, deep skillet, heat about 1½ inches of oil to 350°F. Fry the turnovers, in batches, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

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