Filo pastry is one of those products that seem to last forever. No matter how many times I take out a batch of silky smooth rectangles, I never manage to get to the end of the box. After last week’s attempt at a variation on tarte tatin, which mrB said needed more work, I thought it wise to go for a savoury dish. There’s something moreish about moist fillings encased in crisp, buttery parcels. And this time, mrB was more than happy with the results of my baking efforts.
These triangular parcels are filled with a sweet and spicy lamb mixture. The sweet part comes from a handful of chopped dates and the spicy part from a harissa-style paste. If you have some harissa to hand, you can substitute it for the paste.
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp tomato puree
a few drops of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250g minced lamb
40g dates, finely chopped
10g flaked almonds, toasted
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
filo pastry sheets
50g butter, melted
Make a paste by grinding the seeds and chilli flakes in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the tomato puree, vinegar, olive oil, salt and paprika.
Heat a frying pan. Add the olive oil and fry the onion for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and the paste and cook for about a minute. Fry the lamb mince for 5 minutes until cooked through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dates, almonds, yoghurt and herbs. Season with salt.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a board and brush it with the melted butter. Keep layering filo pastry and butter until you have 3 layers. Cut into 4 rectangles about 5 cm wide. Brush each rectangle with butter. At the top of each rectangle, place a dessertspoonful of the lamb filling. Pull the corner over to make a triangle. Fold down to make another triangle. Keep folding until you reach the end of the pastry. Trim any leftover bits with a sharp knife.
Place the triangles on a baking sheet and lightly brush the top of each triangle with the melted butter. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden, turning halfway through the cooking time.