Pancakes with spinach, spring onions and soft cheese

Serves 4-6

Although these are often referred to as pancakes in Turkey they are really more of a paper-thin flat bread or pastry. In Istanbul we tasted several versions with great, simple fillings. The pastry is a bit of a pain to make at home but most Turkish, North African or Mediterranean stores sell it in circular shapes or big folded sheets in the chilled cabinet.

500g spinach, stalks removed, washed and dried
4-5 spring onions, sliced
80-100g soft Turkish cheese or ricotta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of large leaves of Warka pastry (or Brik pastry)
2-3tbsp olive oil

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the spinach, season and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, turning and stirring regularly until the spinach is tender. Drain in a colander and push any excess water out with the back of a spoon. Mix in the spring onions.

Cut the pastry into squares that, when folded into a triangle, fit into your largest frying pan. Lay the pastry on to a sheet of greaseproof paper on the work surface and almost cover one half with the spinach. Then dot around the cheese and fold into a triangle, heat some olive oil in the pan and carefully slide the pancake in and cook for a minute or so until crisp, then turn over with a spatula or fish slice and do the same on the other side. Serve immediately, on its own, or with lemon.

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