Having tried using filo pastry on baklava, I was excited to use them on other bakes, so I found Anna Olson’s spinach and feta spanakopita which is a greek savoury bake. They’re quite simple to do and can be prepared beforehand, frozen and baked when needed. I love these little treats that can be made ahead and used when there is a last minute gathering or when time is short.
(makes 8 cigar sticks or 24 triangles)
- 115g unsalted butter, melted
- 8 sheets phyllo pastry
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1kg frozen spinach
- 1 cup feta cheese
- Salt and pepper to season
- Zest of a lemon
- 1 egg whisked for egg wash
- Sesame seeds to sprinkle (optional)
- Chop the onions and garlic and set aside.
- Preheat the oven at 190 degree C and line 2 baking trays.
- Heat about a tablespoon of melted butter in a pan and add the onion, saute till onion turns translucent. Stir in the garlic and the lemon zest.
- Squeeze extra liquid out of the thawed spinach and add to the pan and stir to combine.
- Spoon the spinach into a bowl and stir in feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to season.
- Leave filling to cool before assembling.
- Lay out a sheet of phyllo and brush evenly with melted butter and add second sheet of phyllo on top and brush again with melted butter.
- To make cigar sticks, cut the phyllo along the breadth and spoon the filling in an even line along the breadth and roll into cigar sticks.
- To make the triangles, cut the phyllo into 6 strips, spoon a little of the filling at the base of each strip and fold the phyllo into triangles, starting at the end and sealing the filling in as you fold each triangle.
- Repeat with the remaining of the phyllos.
- Brush the filled pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, the assembled pastries can be frozen and baked in a preheated oven of 190 degrees C when needed. Bake the pastries frozen to avoid soggy pastries. These can keep for a month in the freezer.
- Brushing the phyllo sheets with too much butter can cause the sheets to tear easily.
- Watching a few videos can help in the shaping.
- Thawing filled phyllos before baking can cause them to be soggy, bake them directly from the freezer.
I really like that it is so simple to make and it can be made ahead of time and there are ready snacks always ready in the freezer when I need them.