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Spinach and Feta Filo Bake

One of the most amazing things about teaching (food photography and styling in our case) is getting to know our students and watching them “grow” professionally. So many of our past students have started successful blogs, took their existing blogs to the next level, and some have even started working as professional food photographers (our view is there is room for everyone).

One of our past students is Limor Tiroche. Limor had a very successful catering business prior to taking our class, and she had just started a blog and was interested in food photography and styling to help her blog along. That was over two years ago and today she writes, photographs and styles a food column in one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Haaretz.

So when Limor came to us wanted to do a collaboration for the upcoming holiday Shavuot, we were all for it. It gives Danya and I the chance to work outside of our comfort zone, to do something different for ourselves and for our readers.

One step into Limor’s house and I was in love. She lives a hop skip from the Mediterranean Sea, in an very old (and beautifully remolded) house, filled with antiques and vintage pieces from her travels all over the world. Needless to say we all thought it was the perfect opportunity to shoot a video, having such a beautiful location. So Limor came up with the recipe, I came with just a few boxes of my favorite props and Danya with her camera.

What came of the video is too pretty not to share, even though it’s in Hebrew.

Spinach and Cheese Filo Pastry [1] from food.foto.film [2] on Vimeo [3].

 

 

Spinach and Cheese Filo Bake

Ingredients for 8-10 servings/10 in./26 cm. round baking dish
For the filling:
1 pound/ 500 grams fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound/250 grams good quality feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 pound/250 grams ricotta cheese, strained
1/4 pound/100 grams semi-firm cheese such as Kashkaval, Emmental, Guyure
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

8 filo sheets (fresh of frozen and defrosted in fridge)
1/3 cup olive oil or melted butter

For topping:
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Preparation:
1. Prepare the filling: in a large bowl, mix together all of the filling ingredients. the spinach. Using your hands, gently squeeze the mixture in order to reduce the volume of the spinach.
2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
3. Place one sheet of fill on a clean working station and gently brush with olive oil. Place an additional sheet of fill on top and brush again with olive oil.
4. Place a layer of the filling on one end of the filo, about one-inch in height. Gently roll the fill into a log, and secure the ends together with your hands. While rolling, brush the log once or twice, in the exposed areas without olive oil. Brush the top of the log with olive oil.
5. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and brush lightly with olive oil. Cut the log into equal parts, around 1-inch wide.
6. Arrange the pieces in the baking dish cut side up, placing them close together.
7. Continue with the remaining dough and filling, until the dish is full.
8 . Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for about one hour, until golden.
9. Serve warm.