Spinach and Feta Borek

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These make excellent vegetarian finger food – hot, crunchy, buttery, with the salty kick of feta. They don’t keep very well, but there are unlikely to be leftovers. I like to serve them to accompany drinks. Just make sure they are warm rather than oven-hot.

Ingredients

  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 550 g fresh spinach
  • 150 g feta, crumbled
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 20 g vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp nigella seeds

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Put a clean, damp cloth over the filo pastry to prevent it from drying out.
  2. Wash the spinach, then put it in a large saucepan with the water still clinging to its leaves. Cover the pan, set it over a medium heat and cook for 1–2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Chop the spinach roughly, then put it in a mixing bowl. Add the feta, spring onions, Parmesan-style cheese, egg, parsley and black pepper. (You shouldn’t need to add any salt, as the feta is very salty.) Stir the mixture until well combined.
  4. Take a sheet of filo pastry and cut it in half vertically. Lay one half horizontally in front of you and brush it generously with the melted butter, then put one twelfth of the spinach mixture in a line along the middle of its length, allowing a small gap (2cm/½in) at each end for sealing. Bring those ends of the pastry over the filling, then roll the longer side closest to you over the filling to create a roll and enclose the filling.
  5. Brush the whole thing with butter, then roll it to seal and keep it rolled up. Place the roll on the lined baking tray seam-side down, brush it with more butter and sprinkle the top liberally with nigella seeds. Repeat this process with each piece of pastry until you have twelve rolls.
  6. Bake the borek in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and serve while they are still warm.