Hot Greek filos
Ingredients to serve 4
Friday 09 March 2012
10 leaves of filo (from a 250g packet feuilles de filo)
30g unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon kalonji (nigella) seeds for the filling
1 small courgette
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
100g Greek feta cheese
2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
12 small olives (optional), pitted and halved
1 heaped tablespoon organic Greek bio yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon tahini
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves
This is a five-minute wonder to prepare, followed by 20 minutes in a hot oven. I had the idea of wrapping up all those lovely flavours in a Greek salad and parcelling them into buttery-crisp filo leaves. I worried that the olives might overwhelm, but they didn't. I made two styles, an envelope and a purse, and both turned out gorgeous. Do not attempt to eat straight from the oven – they seem to retain heat like nothing on earth.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. For the filling, using a swivel vegetable peeler, cut the courgette lengthways into long ribbons and place in a bowl with the halved tomatoes. Crumble in the feta in bite-sized pieces and add the oregano and olives, if using. Toss to mix.
For the dressing, stir the yoghurt, tahini, garlic and mint together in a small bowl. Tip the dressing onto the salad and add some pepper (no salt, the feta has it all). Turn to mix gently with a spoon.
Cut the filo sheets in half, to give 20 squares. To make envelope parcels, brush each filo square with butter and layer in 4 piles. Divide the filling between them, placing it in the centre and brush the surrounding filo with butter. Fold one side over, brush with butter, then fold the other side over. Fold the ends in to fashion an envelope and brush all over with butter. To make purses, brush the filo squares with butter and assemble in 4 piles, but stagger the squares, to make star-pointed piles. Plonk a large spoonful of filling in the centre of each pile, gather up the surrounding filo and scrunch into a purse. Brush with melted butter.
Place the filo packages on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the sesame and kalonji seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crisp.
Taken from 'Food You Can't Say No To' by Tamasin Day-Lewis (Quadrille, £20).
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