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Julia's Spinach And Feta Flatbreads

Food

There is something about the combination of spinach, feta, and fried dough that hits all the right comfort food notes, without being too heavy.

In this recipe inspired by a weekend snack ritual when shopping  at the farmer’s market, Julia Busuttil Nishimura creates the perfect pillowy pocket to stuff full of delicious fillings, especially for when those cravings hit – YUM!

29th June, 2021

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura
Tuesday 29th June 2021

One of my very favourite things to do on the weekends is go to the farmer’s market! It is always made all that much better with a warm Börek or Gözleme in hand. Usually filled with spinach and feta, but sometimes, spicy lamb or potato, which are all delicious. It feels synonymous with the whole market experience, and is the inspiration behind this recipe, which I find myself making often on the weekends! My dough contains both yeast and yoghurt, making it an easy dough to work with, and also incredibly light and fluffy once cooked.

Sometimes I stuff these flatbreads with a spicy mixture of potato and herbs which is reminiscent of Indian Aloo Paratha, or with leftover roast pumpkin with sage and mozzarella. But the most popular iteration at home is this simple spinach and feta filling which is herbaceous and full of flavour. I’ve used a whole bunch of spinach here, but baby spinach leaves would be a great alternative too. Whichever greens you use, just be sure they are thoroughly dried to avoid a soggy interior. You could also use a combination of ricotta and feta for a creamier filling. Feel free to play around with the herbs – coriander or mint would be a wonderful addition, as would some dried chilli flakes for a bit of heat.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Ingredients

(Makes 8)

500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
5g dry active yeast
8g sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra greasing
200g natural yoghurt
200ml warm water

Spinach and feta filling
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Zest of a lemon
½ bunch of dill, roughly chopped
½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch spinach leaves, roughly chopped and thoroughly dried (around 300g of leaves)
300g Greek feta, crumbled
Sea salt and pepper

To Serve:
Dill fronds
Lemon wedges
Natural yoghurt

method

Make the dough by combining all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on a low speed to begin, then increase the speed to high and mix for 4-5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and shiny. Transfer to a well oiled bowl and coat the dough in the oil, then cover and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon then turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic. Transfer to a well oiled bowl and coat the dough in the oil, then cover and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling by warming the olive oil in a pan over a low-medium heat. Gently fry the onion until soft and beginning to colour, around 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cumin seeds and cook for a further two minutes or until the garlic is softened and the cumin is fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Add in the remaining ingredients and drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil, just a tablespoon will do. Mix really well, ensuring there are no large pieces of feta as it will pierce holes in the dough when they are rolled. Season to taste.

Turn the dough onto a work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Dust your work surface with flour and flatten each ball of dough with the palm of your hand and roll into a rough circle around 15cm in diameter dusting with flour as you need. Place approximately ½ cup of filling into the centre of the dough. Seal the flatbread by bringing the edges into the centre and pinching to seal. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Dust the little parcels with flour on both sides so they don’t stick to the bench or work surface, and gently flatten with your hands or roll until they are around 1cm in thickness, being careful not to make any holes. If holes do occur, try to pinch the dough back together with your fingers to seal.

Heat a pan over a medium heat and cook the flatbread in the pan until golden and cooked through on both sides (around 2 minutes on each side). Repeat with remaining flatbreads.

Serve the flatbreads with wedges of lemon, extra dill and yoghurt drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

What else I’m cooking with…

Brussels sprouts, roasted in the oven with soy, sesame oil and butter.

What else I’m eating…

Leatherwood honey and frangipane tart from Etta in Brunswick East.

Click here to download recipe printout!

Click here to download recipe printout!

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