Vegetables and Feta Filo Roll
Filo pastry is very versatile and easy to use. It’s true that you need to work reasonably fast to prevent the filo sheets from drying, but placing a lightly wet towel over them helps keeping them moist. Filo sheets are stacked one on top of the other, about 6 sheets per roll, and then the filling is placed on the edge and the filo is rolled up, jelly roll style, encasing the filling. You need to gather the ends as you roll so the filling doesn’t spill out from the sides. To prepare the filo I stack the sheets one top of the other with a little olive oil brushed on top of each sheet and herbed crumbs sprinkled between them. The filling is simple and can be varied according to what you have in the fridge and what is in season. For this recipe I combined potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and feta with oregano as the main flavouring herb. Use Greek oregano if you have it, it has a different flavour than the regular oregano and compliments this dish nicely. Caution with the salt. The feta is already salty and you may not need as much as you think. I don’t find than an egg is necessary to bind the filling but if you wish you could add an egg to the filling just before assembling the roll. You can prepare the roll in advance and reheat it in the oven at 350℉ to crisp the filo if it has been sitting for a while. Serve with green salad, coleslaw or as part of a larger dinner menu.
4 red or white skinned potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
Salt and pepper
4 cups spinach
8-10 mushrooms, chopped
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the diced potatoes and oregano and cook on medium heat until potatoes are cooked through. Do not let the potatoes brown. If necessary, I add 1/3 cup water to the skillet to create steam and finish cooking the potatoes. Let the water evaporate completely.
When the potatoes are cooked through add the spinach and toss with tongs or a wooden spoon until spinach has wilted and combined with the potatoes and onion. Scrape the potato mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Add some more oil to the skillet and add the chopped mushrooms. Do not crowd the skillet because you want to mushrooms to roast, not steam. If necessary, do this in two batches. Sauté the mushrooms until golden. Remove and add to the potatoes-spinach mixture.
Crumble the feta cheese over the vegetables and stir gently to distribute the cheese among the other ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Prepare the filo sheets: Remove 6 sheets from the roll and return the rest to the fridge. Using one sheet at a time, lay the sheet on the work surface and lightly drizzle with a bit of olive oil. With a pastry brush or with clean hands dab the oil over the filo sheet and sprinkle a bit of bread crumbs over. Lay the second sheet over top of the first one and repeat, dabbing the oil and sprinkling the crumbs as you go.
When you are done and have a stack of 6 filo sheets brushed with oil and crumbs sprinkled in between oiled , spoon the filling in one row along the long end, leaving about 2″ border on the long end and on the sides.
Fold the sided in to enclose the filling, and slowly roll the pastry over the filling, fairly tight, creating a log and tucking in the ends the best you can. If the ends look so so don’t worry about it as you can cut them off after the film roll is cooked.
When you have a nice tight roll lift it carefully and place on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment of silpat. Cut a few diagonal slashes along the top of the pastry, about 2′ apart.
Bake in a 400℉ oven for about 30 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden.
Let rest about 10 minutes thern cut into serving pieces on the diagonal. serve immediately to let cool and reheat later.