Eke out summer with these Turkish spinach and feta pastries. Rolled in this unusual way they look even more impressive
Oil, for greasing and brushing
350g/12oz fresh spinach or Swiss chard leaves, rinsed
Good handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 x 350g packet of filo pastry
1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F. Oil a shallow, round cake tin, approx 30cm in diameter.
2 Lightly cook the spinach and parsley in a lidded pan with just the water that is left clinging to the leaves after washing. When the leaves have wilted, drain them through a sieve and leave them to cool. When they are cool to the touch, give them a good squeeze to get rid of any remaining water. Once completely cold, mix them with the feta and salt and set aside.
3 Unroll a sheet of filo pastry. Spoon a little of the spinach mixture down one long edge, then roll it up like a cigar. If it splits or seems a little fragile, roll another sheet of filo around it. (Take care not to do this too tightly or it will split again during the cooking process.) Coil the cigar into a ‘snail’ shape.
4 Repeat this process until you have made 6–8 ‘snails’, then arrange them neatly (sides touching) in the prepared pan. Brush with oil and bake for 40 mins or until golden brown.
Cook’s note: You can freeze the cooked greens and parsley mixture if you have a glut of fresh veg and use it throughout the year.
Recipe from The Great Dixter Cookbook by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon Press).