Tiliktos Baklavas

Rolled Baklava

MOST baklava is now made with butter, but this lighter version with olive oil is still baked during the many Lenten days, when dairy products are forbidden. I learned to make it from Chryssa Livanos, the wife of John Livanos, the owners of Molyvos restaurant.


  • ¼ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 cup almonds
  • tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ pound kataifi (shredded phyllo)
  • 6 thick phyllo sheets (about ½ pound)


  • 1⅓ cups honey, preferably thyme honey
  • 1⅓ cups water
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Halve the lemon quarter. In a small saucepan, heat the oils with the lemon over low heat for 5 minutes; do not boil. Let cool completely and discard the lemon.

Meanwhile, spread ½ cup of the almonds on a baking sheet and lightly toast, about 6 minutes. Coarsely chop the toasted almonds and the remaining ½ cup almonds in a food processor.

In a medium bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Divide the kataifi into thirds and place in a large plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Stack the phyllo sheets on a work surface and cover with plastic wrap and then a damp kitchen towel.

Oil a large baking sheet. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with the lemon oil. Lay 1 more sheet of phyllo on top and brush with oil. Sprinkle about tablespoons of the almond mixture evenly over the phyllo, leaving about 1½ inches of the short side farthest from you uncovered. Distribute one-third of the kataifi over the almond mixture, again leaving about 1½ inches of the short side farthest from you uncovered. Drizzle the kataifi with some oil and sprinkle about tablespoons of the almond mixture evenly over it.

Brush the uncovered phyllo border generously with oil. Starting with the short side nearest you, roll up the phyllo tightly like a jelly roll, brushing the outside lightly with oil as you roll. Press to seal and turn the roll seam side down on the work surface. Cut the log into 10 equal pieces and place the pieces cut side up about ½ inch apart on the baking sheet. Make 2 more logs (20 more baklava rolls) in the same manner.

Bake the rolls on the middle rack of the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Make the Syrup

In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, water, sugar, lemon and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool until warm; discard the lemon and cinnamon stick.

Transfer the hot baklava rolls to a baking dish large enough to hold them tightly in a single layer and pour the warm syrup over them, making sure to cover each roll. Let stand for 2 to 3 hours. Turn the rolls over, cover, and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 day before serving. Baklava rolls will keep in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.