Host your very own Arabian night and take your senses on a journey to remember. Feast your eyes – and then your tummies – on these mouth-watering offerings, which bring the colours, smells and tastes of this magical part of the world to life. This recipe will provide you with plenty of pastries to feast on for days.
500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. fresh spinach leaves, trimmed, washed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
3 heaped tablespoons
Pine nuts (reserve1 tablespoon for garnishing)
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
150 g/5. oz. feta, crumbled with your fingers
A small bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain/all-purpose flour, for dusting
450 g/16 oz. ready-prepared puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) Gas 4. Steam the spinach until soft and floppy, then drain and refresh under running cold water and squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands. Place the spinach on a wooden board and chop it coarsely.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based pan and stir in the onion to soften. Add the pine nuts and cook for 2–3 minutes until both they begin to turn golden. Stir in the spinach, lemon juice and allspice and lightly toss in the crumbled feta and dill. Season the mixture with a little salt and pepper and leave to cool.
Lightly dust a surface with flour and thinly roll out the pastry. Using a pastry cutter, or a cup’s rim, cut out as many 10-cm/4-in. rounds as you can, lightly dusting with flour. Take each round and spoon a little of the spinach mixture in the middle. Pull up the sides to make a pyramid by pinching the edges with your fingertips – it does not matter if one of the sides opens during cooking, as that is part of the appeal.
Lightly grease two baking sheets and place the pastries on them. Brush the tops with a little oil and bake them in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Roughly 5 minutes before taking the pastries out of the oven, spread the reserved tablespoon of pine nuts onto a small piece of aluminium foil and toast them in the oven until they turn golden brown. Once you have placed the little pastries on a plate, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over them and serve while they are still hot.