I guess I could have called these Spanakopita as they really are a variation on those wonderful spinach filled Greek pies. However the change in flavours that the fresh coriander and mint contribute really puts them in a league of their own. I love adding fresh herbs to my dishes wherever I can and the crazy amounts of mint, parsley & coriander proliferating in my herb pots encourages me to do so! Definitely my Middle Eastern roots here shining through here 🙂 with the fresh herbs and cumin make these crispy and buttery triangles extra special. Use the best feta you can find – I favour a “proper” sheep milks feta as it has that tang which compliments the spinach and herbs well. I didn’t have much Phyllo left so my triangles were a little see-through, but you can use less – or more depending on how you like them. You will also need a pastry brush of some kind, either silicone or bristle to brush the melted butter onto the pastry.
INGREDIENTS100g plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
400g baby spinach
200g best quality feta, crumbled
Handful chopped spring onion
1/2 tsp dried red chili’s (optional)
Zest & juice 1/2 lemon
Large handful chopped Coriander
Large handful chopped Mint leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
10 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen (I like Woolies all phyllo)
Some Nigella seeds for sprinkling – black sesame or sesame will also work nicely here.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan over moderate heat, then add the spring onion and cook for a minute or so.
- Add the spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the herbs, feta, cumin, lemon juice and zest, chili, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Melt remaining 100g butter in a small saucepan, then cool.
- Cover phyllo stack with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel.
- Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with some butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips. You can cut it into 4 strips instead to get a larger triangle – just add more filling in this case.
- Put a tablespoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large lined baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all of phyllo.
- Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
I serve ours up for a light midweek simple supper with a big crunchy green salad which my boys love. Despite their eagerness to try new foods steamed spinach has never been a favourite yet they will wolf these yummy triangles down with wanton abandon! If you have too many then freeze them before you bake them and then you can just cook from frozen as and when.