On my first and only beach holiday – a week on the beach somewhere on Crete after my university finals – I first fell in love with Greek food. While other students were downing two-for-one cocktails and binging on cheap pizza, I was eating baklava and enjoying strong, black Greek coffee. I managed to find a restaurant, off the beaten track of the ulta touristy resort we stayed at, which served only traditional greek food. I had something delicius I had never had before and can’t remember what it was called now. I made my then boyfriend have moussaka because I knew what that was and that he was probably going to like it. (He did.)
This evening, inspired by the many, many Greek and Balkan recipes I’ve read in the 16 years since, I made a Greek-ish dish for dinner – filo pastry rolls filled with spinach and feta. It was so crisp and satisfying tht, eating it, it is hard to believe that I used hate spinach. I forced it down so as not to lose face in front of the kids. Now that I know how I like my spinach, I have a feeling I’ll be using it a lot more often.
Here is the recipe:
150g thawed frozen spinach
150g feta cheese
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
125 g mozzarella
1 grated clove of garlic
12 sheets of filo pastry
Some olive oil.
Mix the spinach, both cheeses, freshly grated nutmeg and the grated garlic to a paste using a fork.
Take 3 sheets of filo. Brush a sheet of filo pastry with olive oil. Lay another sheet on top and brush it, then lay another on top.
Place a quarter of the spinach mixture along one of the long sides then roll up the filo into a long, thin roll. Place the roll into a baking tin.
Repeat with the remaining filo and filling. Lay each roll right next to the previous one.
Bake at 200C for approx. 30 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes and then eat.