These individual Greek pies are filled with a classic combination of silverbeet, fetta and herbs. At the restaurant, David serves this dish with a spiced yoghurt and roasted capsicum and tomato sauce.
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted, plus extra, to dust
- 3½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 165 ml water
Cheese and silverbeet filling
- 25 g butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 125 ml (½ cup) warm milk
- 250 g Bulgarian feta, grated (see note)
- 250 g ricotta, crumbled
- 4 silverbeet leaves, stalks removed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ bunch spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dill, chopped
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
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.
Proving time: 2 hours
Chilling time: 1 hour
The dough may be frozen at the end of step 3 for up to 2 months. For best results, start this recipe 1 day ahead.
To make filling, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until starting to change colour. Slowly add milk and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add feta and ricotta and stir to combine.
Blanch silverbeet leaves in a pan of boiling water for 45 seconds or until wilted, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain, squeeze to remove excess water, and chop. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add spring onion, dill and parsley and cook for 2 minutes or until onion is softened. Add to cheese mixture with silverbeet and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Stir in 165 ml water until mixture comes together; add more water if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until mixture forms a stiff dough. Add 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp at a time, kneading between each addition for a further 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Coat with 2 tsp oil and place in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm, draught-free place for 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 rounds. Flatten each round to 1 cm-thick and brush with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Place 3 rounds on top of each other, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight until cold.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Working with one stack of dough at a time, using a rolling pin, roll out on a large floured rectangular table to as thin as you can. Then, place your hands under the dough, palms facing down, and gently stretch the dough using the back of your hands until it reaches 60 cm x 1.2 m. Cut dough into 3 x 40 cm x 60 cm pieces and brush each piece with extra oil.
Leaving a 4 cm border, place one-sixth of the filling along the short edge in three portions. This will help prevent the coil from bursting. Fold pastry border over filling and roll up into a log. Roll pastry into a coil and trim the end. Repeat with remaining filo and filling.
Place each coil side-by-side on a greased oven tray with cut-ends touching. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
• Bulgarian feta, available from delis, is a saltier, creamier style of feta.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg92.
Photography by Alan Benson and Jason Loucas