Have you ever had fatayer before? These Middle Eastern spinach and feta parcels are a bit like mini calzones and so good when freshly baked! I also like to think the spinach makes them pretty healthy too!
But what are fatayer?
Fatayer are an Arabic food that can have meat in, but are often filled with spinach. This recipe is slightly adapted from Paul Hollywood's Pies and Puds.
Since making them I've done a bit of research and have found some interesting variations such as adding sumac to the filling or pomegranate syrup, as Ottolenghi does.
Ingredients for fatayer
The dough for fatayer is very much like pizza dough. You'll need:
- Strong white flour - Strong flour has more gluten in it and is used in bread making.
- Fast action dried yeast
- Olive oil
For the filling you'll need:
- Frozen spinach
- Pine nuts
- Feta cheese
- Fresh mint
- Black pepper
How do you you make the dough?
Basically you combine all the dough ingredients and knead them. I used a food mixer with the dough hook to mix up the dough. This meant I didn't have to knead it by hand. However, you could also do it by hand or if you have a breadmaker you could use the dough setting on it.
For more tips on using the breadmaker to make pizza dough then do check out my spicy margherita pizza recipe.
How do you make the fatayer filling?
Cook the spinach down to get rid of the excess moisture and then combine the ingredients together. I use frozen spinach as it goes further than fresh spinach. You could substitute fresh spinach but you would need a larger quantity.
After you've cooked the spinach down, stir in the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Then leave the spinach and garlic to cool.
After it has cooled, mix the spinach, feta, herbs and pine nuts together.
How to make the fatayer
When you are ready to assemble the fatayer, divide th dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each one out into a circle and divide the filling between each one.
Fold the dough over and seal it at the sides.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 200C.
Can you use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?
Yes you can. I often use dried herbs in recipes as I don't always have the fresh ones I need. However, fresh herbs will give a much more vibrant flavour and it really is best to use them if you can.
If you do use dried herbs then one teaspoon of dried herbs is equivalent to one tablespoon of fresh herbs. As this recipe has 3 tablespoons of fresh mint, it can be replaced with 3 teaspoons of dried mint.
What can you do with the leftovers?
If you don't eat all the fatayer when they are freshly baked you can store them in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat just bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes although this will vary depending on how large they are and how thick the filling is.
You can reheat them in the microwave too but the dough tends to go a bit chewy and they don't have that freshly baked feel about them.
Can you freeze them?
Yes, if you want you can freeze them. Wait until they have completely cooled after baking. Then wrap them up well in baking paper and you can freeze them for up to three months.
Can you bake them from frozen?
Yes, just pop them in the oven for 30 minutes straight from the freezer.
More dough recipes you might like
Fatayer - Spinach and Feta Parcels
Ingredients for the Dough
- 250 g strong white flour
- 1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 150 ml water
Ingredients for the Filling
- 500 g frozen spinach
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 100 g feta crumbled
- 3 tablespoon mint roughly chopped
- Pinch black pepper
Making the Dough
- Put the flour in the bowl of a food mixer. Add the yeast at one side and the salt at the other and then add the olive oil and 125ml of water.
- Begin to mix on a slow speed and add the rest of the water slowly until the dough has formed a ball. You might not need quite all of the water although I found I needed slightly more.
- Increase the speed slightly and let the mixer kneed the dough for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes smooth and stops sticking to your fingers when you test it. Alternatively you could mix and then kneed the ingredients by hand but the kneeding process may take a bit longer.
- Put the dough in an oiled and covered bowl and leave to rise for an hour.
Making the Filling
- Put the spinach in a frying pan and cook until all the water it releases evaporates. Before it has finished cooking, add the crushed garlic. Leave in the pan to cool.
- Put the pine nuts in a dry pan and toast over a low heat until they turn golden.
- When all the filling ingredients have cooled, mix them all together in a bowl.
Assembling and Cooking the Fatayer
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Knock some of the air out of the dough and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each one out into a circle.
- Divide the filling between each one, putting a pile in the middle of each round of dough. Form into parcel shapes by bringing up three sides of the dough and pinching them together. The parcels should then be triangular-shaped.
- Put the fatayer on baking trays lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve with salad.
I love these pies! Very light and fresh though rich with the olive oil flavored dough, one of my favorites especially with some soup 🙂
I'm glad you liked them. I'm definitely going to be making them again.
These are delicious little pies! They are similar to the Greek spanakopita
I love the flavours in these and I've also been wanting to make spanakopita for quite a while. Maybe after having a go at these I'll get around to it!
I'll definitely have to look into this - have never heard of these. I want to do something similar called 'borek', but haven't had a chance yet!
I love borek too and it's also something I've been wanting to make for ages but haven't quite got around to yet.
Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D)
I love spinach and these little parcels look yummy.I had something like this when I was on holiday in Greece.They look delicious.Please do link them to Flavours of the world~ grand finale event at simply.food they would fit the event theme well.
Thank you for letting me know. I'll link them up there too.
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