Agh… a sigh of relief as I write this post. We’ve successfully moved house and it feels wonderful. Of course at the time it was all happening it didn’t feel so wonderful but the upheaval is over now, and I love our new home.
The kitchen has a combined dining area and, wait for it, bright orange benches and large patterned seventies tiles. It’s fantastic! It’s a large functioning space that looks out onto the back garden. There’s no gas on in the house (you cant have it all) so my cooking is now on a flat top electric cooker with a basic electric oven. Getting to know a new oven is a little like getting to know a new friend – it takes time to understand how they work.
I was fretting about the oven because there is no fan forced option on it. The first meal I cooked, as much to fill the house with a homely smell as to feed us, was a roast leg of lamb, closely followed by these kale and feta triangles.
After a few hectic days of un-packing and setting up, the urge to eat green vegetables was strong. I wasn’t even sure what I was cooking when I grabbed a bunch of kale, whilst shopping at the local fruit store. I knew I had a box of filo pastry in the freezer and some feta cheese in the fridge so these triangles came together and they were the perfect nibble for feeding friends and family who popped by.
Kale’s bitter flavour works perfectly with the flaky, buttery filo pastry, a good measure of onions and garlic, a pinch of – one of my favourite spices – hot smoked paprika, some salty feta cheese…
A few tips for using filo pastry – defrost the pastry in the fridge overnight and leave in the box at room temperature for 2 hours before use (If you’ve ever tried to use filo pastry that hasn’t quite defrosted properly, it tends to break and fall apart and the whole thing becomes difficult and fiddly).
Also you must work fairly quickly with filo pastry as it drys out fast. In between use, cover the filo with a sheet of baking paper then a damp tea towel, this keeps the pastry soft and pliable.
You can use four or six sheets of filo pastry (I made a batch with 6 sheets and a batch with 4 sheets, the latter was a little less flaky). Brush between every second sheet with melted butter. This helps the pastry crisp and go flaky.
Kale and feta triangles – makes 12 triangles
1 bunch kale
2 red onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp hot smoked paprika
150g Greek feta
2 free range eggs
1 pkt filo pastry
100g melted butter
Salt and cracked black pepper
Wash the kale. Use a sharp knife to cut away the inner woody stalk and discard. Roughly slice the kale leaves. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large pot. When the pot is hot, throw the kale in, stir and cover with a lid, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly to help wilt the kale. Drain and set aside.
Wipe the same pot clean, heat with 2 tbsp olive oil, add onions and garlic and cook on a low heat for 3 minutes, add hot smoked paprika and cook for a further 2 minutes. Place cooked onions in a large bowl.
Once kale is cool enough to handle, add to the cooked onions, with feta, eggs, and a large pinch of salt and a large pinch cracked black pepper, mix to combine. Set aside. Pre heat oven to 210C.
Take two sheets of filo pastry and brush the top sheet with melted butter. Place another 2 sheets on top and brush again with butter, place the final two sheets on top and brush with butter. Cut sheets equally into 4 strips. Divide 1/3 of the kale mix between the four strips. Roll the first piece of pastry over to form a triangular shape, fold the next roll, keeping the triangular shape, roll a third and final time. You’ll be left with a rectangle piece of pastry at the top, fold this over and seal with melted butter. Place triangles on a lined tray and brush the out side of the triangles with more melted butter. Repeat twice more with remaining sheets of filo pastry and kale mix.
Cook triangles for 25-30 minutes or till golden and crisp looking. Allow to cool slightly. To serve, cut triangles in half and place on a tray or platter. They can be eaten warm or cold.