Easter is almost here and I really have to share these feta and ricotta cheese filo wraps with you. It is a must make, must eat and a definite and guaranteed repeat! It's the best thing in the world if you ask me.
What are these filo wraps?
I am sure you have heard of the famous and very traditional Greek dish Spanakopita or the Turkish Borek? Well, this is just that but with a little twist.
These wraps are made with Phyllo (filo) pastry sheets that are simply made up of flour, water and oil. You can nowadays find gluten-free Filo here in the UK but wherever you are in the world it is worth checking as I am sure you will be able to find some.
The pastry in this recipe isn't a homemade one since this takes proper time, so much patience and not to mention the amount of skill to produce something like that resembling a thin sheet of paper. It's not easy!
It also requires a fair amount of space to progressively roll and stretch to what it'll have to end up in a single thin and very large sheet with constant flouring between every layer to prevent tearing and also drying out. Amazing skills!
I am really happy and thankful that filo pastry can easily be found and bought in almost any supermarket, both, fresh and frozen.
This recipe goes a long way back for me. The original recipe that my grandma used to make only requires feta cheese and either dill or spinach. I do add ricotta to simply diminish the saltiness as I don’t like it very salty.
Is the cheese too salty?
No problem at all. There is a way of desalting the feta cheese and that is to submerge the chunks/blocks in cold water for at least a couple of hours if no ricotta is available.
The outcome on these filo wraps guys..... is mama mia!! ... pure and plain deliciousness.
Origins of the filo wraps ...
It is clearly a Mediterranean recipe made in many Med countries but it has been adopted throughout Europe and around the world.
Filo wraps is a recipe that originates from Turkey.
In Greece is known as Spanakopita where's a popular savoury pie made of flaky filo/phyllo dough with spinach and feta cheese filling.
How to serve these filo wraps
I personally love having/serving it with a nice cold glass of kefir. It is how my grandma used to give it to us and I love keeping it that way because I still think it's the best.
It's pretty filling so this would be perfect for lunch and served with a nice leafy salad which could be even a fresh spinach salad. More spinach?! Oh yes, the more the merrier. You do remember what effects spinach has always had on Popeye, right?
In Turkey, people like to have it along with a glass of Turkish tea mainly served at breakfast. I can have it any time of the day without any complaints. Oh yes.
Serve it along with a nice Greek Salad, it makes the perfect lunch, work lunch or even a picnic or to take to a garden party potluck.
This recipe can be also made as filo rolls, In the Börek style. I always use spinach or dill and feta mixed with ricotta cheese filling.
Make these wraps vegan. Simply substitute the cheese with mushrooms and the vegan version of filo pastry.
Made with meat, by adding ground meat (lamb, beef, pork, chicken) onion and herbs - so versatile, right?
Sweet version - add sugar (as much as you desire) to the ricotta cheese, coconut flakes, raisins, or ground nuts.
As mentioned, this recipe can be made as wraps, triangles, rolls or simply layering the phyllo sheets with the chosen filling in between.
Other recipes you may like:
- Halloumi And Asparagus Quiche In Filo Base
- Giant Potato And Cauliflower Filo Samosa
- Spinach And Mushrooms Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Salmon Wellington
Let's get started as I can't wait any longer, so here comes the recipe!
Feta, Ricotta Cheese And Spinach Filo Wraps
- 250 g feta cheese (8.85oz or 1.65 cups) made into crumbs
- 200 g ricotta cheese (7.5oz or 1.5 cups)
- 350 g fresh spinach (11.5 cups or 12.3oz) washed and roughly chopped
- 12 sheets Filo pastry
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp Sesame seeds I used black and white
- 4-5 sprigs fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg to egg wash
- 1 small onion (optional)
If you want them moist:
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tbsp yogurt full fat
- 50 ml milk (1.6 floz)
For crispy fillo:
- 3-4 tbs olive oil or butter
- Take the pastry sheets out of the fridge for at least 15 min before handling to avoid breaking although sheets are a lot easier to handle and they warm quicker than puff or crust pastry.
- Cook the washed, drained and chopped spinach. You may wish to use onion, if so, chop and sweat that first with 1 tbsp of olive oil for a few minutes and then add the spinach. Cook until all water will evaporate. Spinach has to be well-drained so it doesn't need cooking for too long. 2-3 min will be sufficient. Once finished, set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven at 190°C/380°F, prepare the oven tray, line with baking paper and set aside.
- Grab a bowl, put in the feta cheese which you should make into small crumbles with the help of a fork. Once this is done, add the ricotta cheese and mix well. Add salt only if your feta is not salty or you would really want them fairly salty. I do recommend however to taste the cheese before so that you know what level of saltiness that is. Then decide if you like to add any more. Add the egg only if you wish. I sometimes like it without. Add a pinch or two of freshly ground pepper. I normally split them into two at this point because I can't give up on the dill version. I always must have some with dill and some with spinach separately.
- Add the cooked spinach and the dill separately if you split the cheese or you could add both to the whole cheese mix. So, let's get rolling! Take out one pastry sheet, fold it into two to get a rectangle shape.
- Optionally, brush with a little oil or melted butter(for extra crispness) not necessary though, add a spoon full or two of the cheese composition (on the shorter side of the rectangle) but don't go all the way to the edges so that the pastry sheet margins could be folded in slightly, and then roll or make little parcels just like I did. Roll or pack lengthwise. There is no right or wrong but the only thing I will say at this point is to not overload the sheets with too much cheese as there should be a right balance between the amount of pastry and the one of cheese.
- Place the rolls/parcels on a greaseproof, egg wash each, sprinkle the mixed sesame seeds. When all finished place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 190 C