I love foodgawker and pinterest for introducing me to food blogs I’d never have found otherwise, and recipes that make me go “hmmm… I could do that!”  Like this one from Alexandra’s Kitchen for Spanakopita Strudels.  Stuffed full of spinach and feta, a moreishly tasty flavour combo, the soft salty filling is perfectly contrasted by lovely crispy filo pastry.

And who doesn’t love recipes where the prep to results ratio is outrageously unbalanced in the favour of results, which this really is.  The filling takes no time to put together and the pastry work is a total doddle thanks to spooning the butter over the filo rather than brushing it.

I’m also constantly on the lookout for new packable lunch ideas, because sarnies day after day after day gets a wee bit  dull.  So I tried this one Sunday afternoon to pack hubby of to work with the next day and was lucky there were any left after we ended up “testing” half the batch when they come out of the oven!  To be honest, this is probably best eaten while still warm but it wasn’t half bad cold the next day with a mug of homemade soup 🙂

The trick to this recipe is simple – do not brush the butter over the pastry or try to cover every bit of it, if anything, the finished strudel will actually be lighter for the random spooning.  Lay a second sheet of filo over the first and spoon three more teaspoons of butter over it, this time aiming for the areas you missed on the first sheet. Top with a third sheet and spoon another three teaspoons of butter over it, again aiming for any missed spots.  Like this!

Scoop out a level 1/2 cup of the spinach and cheese filling…

… and place on the filo, about 2 inches from the bottom end nearest you.

Then fold the bottom of the filo over the filling…

…before folding the sides in, left first then right…

…and then from the bottom, fold the filling portion up and over itself until you’ve got a small parcel.

Place the parcel fold side down on your baking sheet and brush the top with butter.

Repeat until you run out of pastry or filling (or both!) – you should get six parcels out of this.

Spinach & Feta Strudels
A moreishly tasty flavour combo, the soft salty filling perfectly contrasted by lovely crispy filo pastry.
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Stuff you’ll need…
  1. 175 grams baby spinach
  2. 135 grams cottage cheese, small curd if poss
  3. 200 grams feta cheese
  4. 3 eggs, beaten
  5. half bar of butter, melted
  6. 18 sheets of filo/phyllo pastry, approx 9 x 14 inches
  7. I used Sainsbury’s from the chiller cabinet and got 15 sheets out of it that were just a little smaller than 9×14 but worked perfectly.
Make!
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 175C/350F, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Clear and clean your work surface so that you have enough room to comfortably accommodate the filo pastry sheets when they are laid out flat.
  2. In batches, pulse the spinach in a food processor until it’s roughly chopped and place in a large bowl. Add the cottage cheese to the bowl, crumble in the feta cheese, add the beaten egg, and fold it all together with a spatula.
  3. Lay one sheet of filo out flat with a short end towards you, and spoon/drizzle three teaspoons of the melted butter over it - do not brush the butter over the pastry or try to cover every bit of it, if anything, the finished strudel will actually be lighter for the random spooning.
  4. Lay a second sheet of filo over the first and spoon/drizzle three more teaspoons of butter over it, this time aiming for the areas you missed on the first sheet.
  5. Top with a third sheet and spoon/drizzle another three teaspoons of butter over it, again aiming for any missed spots.
  6. Scoop out a level 1/2 cup of the spinach and cheese filling and place on the filo, about 2 inches from the bottom end nearest you. Then fold the bottom of the filo over the filling before folding the sides in, left first then right, and then from the bottom, fold the filling portion up and over itself until you’ve got a small parcel.
  7. Place the parcel fold side down on your baking sheet and brush the top with butter.
  8. Repeat until you run out of pastry or filling (or both!) – you should get six parcels out of this – and then pop in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown on top.
Adapted from Spanakopita Strudels
Adapted from Spanakopita Strudels
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