This is a fun spin on the traditional spinach-flavoured Greek pastry. The rocket and goat’s cheese provide plenty of flavour while the chopped nuts add lovely texture.
Recipe and styling by Illanique van Aswegen
Photograph by Adel Ferreira
Mini rocket, walnut and goat’s cheese spanakopitas with dill and lemon tzatziki
- 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
- 1 (about 180g) onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 100g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 75g rocket, shredded
- 60ml (¼ cup) Parmesan, finely grated
- 2,5ml (½ tsp) salt
- pinch ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 200g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
- 6 sheets filo pastry, defrosted
- 75g butter, melted
DILL AND LEMON TZATZIKI
- 250g Greek yoghurt
- 145g cucumber, finely diced
- 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh dill, chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) wholegrain mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- micro rocket leaves, to garnish (optional)
- lemon wedges, to serve
For the spanakopitas, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and nuts and fry, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the rocket. Spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside to cool, 15 minutes – the residual heat from the onions will lightly wilt the leaves.
Add the Parmesan, salt, peppers and egg and mix to combine. Gently fold in the goat’s cheese.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Cut each sheet of filo pastry, lengthways, into 4 equal strips so you end up with 24 strips of pastry. Place a clean, damp tea towel on top of the pastry.
Brush melted butter onto 1 filo pastry strip. Place 15ml (1 tbsp) filling on one corner of the pastry, in a triangular shape, and fold the pastry over to form a triangle – as you would when making samosas – keep folding the triangle over and over until you reach the end of the strip. Place it, seam down, on the lined baking tray and repeat the process with the other pastry strips. Bake in the oven until crisp and golden, 15 – 20 minutes.
For the tzatziki, stir all of the ingredients together and season well to taste. Garnish the spanakopitas with the micro leaves, if desired, and serve with the dill and lemon tzatziki on the side, along with lemon wedges for squeezing.
If you are serving the tzatziki straight away, there is no need to seed the cucumber. If you are making it in advance and want to prevent it from going watery then, before chopping the cucumber, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. To easily toast nuts, place the whole nuts on a baking tray and bake in a 180°C oven until golden and lightly toasted, 4 – 6 minutes, depending on their size. Allow to cool.