I am using many of the ingredients we saw in Kalamata market in a modern but nonetheless Greek way.
- 12 sheets filo
- 40 g butter, melted
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup raisins, soaked in sweet wine or warm water
- 100 g dried figs, soaked in sweet wine or warm water
- 250 g manouri cheese or ricotta salata, grated (see Note)
- ¾ cup mint leaves, chopped
- ½ cup walnut pieces, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
If using frozen filo, move to fridge to defrost the day before starting this recipe.
1. If the filo is frozen, remove it from the freezer and place in the refrigerator the day before it is needed. Cover the filo with baking paper or a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel to prevent the filo from drying out.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine the melted butter and oil in a small jug. Drain the soaked raisins and figs, then chop. Combine the chopped raisins and figs, cheese, mint, walnuts and egg, mix well.
3. Take one sheet of filo and brush it with a little of the buttery oil mixture, then top with another sheet, again brushing the top with a little more of the buttery oil.
4. Cut the sheets into three strips widthwise. Place a rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture at one end, then roll the filo over the filling to enclose. Fold the ends in towards the filling, roll to the end of the strip. Place the roll, seam side down, on a baking tray. Repeat the procedure with the remaining filo and cheese filling.
5. Brush the rolls with the remaining buttery oil. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.
• Manouri is a semi-soft sheep’s or goat’s cheese often made from the whey left over from the production of feta. It is mild, slightly sweet and utterly delicious. It is available from Greek delicatessens. Italian-style ricotta salata can be substituted – it’s little saltier, but goes well with the dried fruit and walnuts in this recipe.