Spinach, feta and pine nut parcels
These triangular pasties are based on a Lebanese speciality called fatayer, and use soft bread dough, rather than pastry, to enclose the filling. I like frozen spinach for this recipe – it’s very easy to use and actually produces a less watery mixture.
For the dough
- 250g/9oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for kneading
For the filling
To make the dough, put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Pour in the oil and 125ml/4fl oz of water. Start to mix with one hand, adding a little more water as you go, gradually incorporating all the flour from the side of the bowl until you have a rough dough. It should be soft and slightly sticky. You may need to add a little more water depending on the absorbency of the flour.
Trickle a little olive oil onto your work surface and knead the dough on it for at least five minutes, or until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Return to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size and puffy.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic and cook gently for a minute, or until it just starts to colour. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the frozen spinach to the pan and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is soft and all the liquid released has evaporated. Add to the bowl with the garlic and season with black pepper and a small pinch of salt (remember that the cheese will be very salty). Leave to cool then add the cheese, pine nuts and mint. Mix thoroughly.
When you’re ready to assemble the parcels, preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Tip the risen dough on to a floured surface and gently knock it back. Divide it into four equal pieces. Roll out each piece to a circle 18cm/7in in diameter and about 5mm/¼in thick.
Divide the filling between the dough circles, forming it into a triangular shape in the centre. Dampen the edges of the circles with a little water. Bring the dough up over each side of the triangle of filling, forming a pyramid shape. Squeeze the edges of the dough together with your fingers to seal. Trim off any excess and press together again.
Put the spinach parcels on the prepared baking tray and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden-brown. Eat hot, warm or cold.