By Carmel Karni — See the recipe
This is a “base recipe” that’s endlessly riffable and hard to mess up. You can vary the fillings - only cheese, only greens, meat or even fruit (cooked sliced apples are fantastic) You don’t even have to measure the filling. Use a little of this and a little of that. Any cheese leftovers will work well, just taste the filling before you add the egg to make sure you have enough salt and that you like the flavor.
I like to keep the seasoning minimal to let the greens and the feta shine, but feel free to add herbs and spices to your liking. If you use frozen greens, thaw and then squeeze them in a towel to get rid of moisture. You can use a mixture of butter and oil or just butter or olive oil. I like the flavor of the mixture for savory fillings and just butter for sweet. You can make the pastry vegan by using only veggies and just olive oil, but keep in mind that the filling should be cooked prior to assembly or else the pastry will be dry.
- 3/4 lb mixed greens*, washed and chopped.
- 4 oz good feta cheese (I highly recommend sheep feta or goat + sheep feta)
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese or greek yogurt
- A bit of salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 egg
- 3 TB butter, melted
- 3 TB olive oil
- Phyllo dough. Thawed
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
*I like a mix of different greens and green onions for my filling I think that it adds to a depth of flavor, but you can certainly use just spinach or just chard.
Heat your oven to 375º f. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water boils, add some salt and the greens. Boil for a minute, until just wilted. Strain the greens and allow them to cool a bit. Take a clean kitchen towel, our Cook towel is perfect for the job. Place a handful of the greens in the center and squeeze well. A lot of water will come out. Repeat for the rest of the greens. Chop fine.
In a bowl mix cheese, spices and chopped greens. Taste for salt. Add egg and mix well. This is your filling.
Mix the butter and oil in a small bowl. Open your phyllo package. Cover with a damp towel (phyllo is thin and will dry fast) Take one sheet of phyllo from top of the pile and brush lightly with the butter and oil mixture. I like doing this on a towel. Do not worry about the dough ripping a bit. It will. Place another sheet on top and lightly brush with the butter and oil again.
Spoon a roughly 3/4 inch wide row of filling along the bottom of the dough rectangle, about an inch or so away from the bottom. Roll the dough upward to create a long thin roll. Place in a pan (no need to prepare the pan) continue with more dough and more filling until your filling is finished. This amount should make about 4 rolls. I like to use a round pan and place the dough rolls in a circular coiled snake fashion in the pan starting on the outside and adding more rolls until the whole bottom of the pan is covered, but any shape will do!
Once you finished, brush the top with more olive oil/butter mixture and sprinkle with some sesame if you wish.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until your pastry is golden brown.