Spelt Fatayer stuffed with Spiced Squash, Feta & Basil

Spelt Fatayer stuffed with Squash, Feta & BasilWe love a good recipe-book, so when our friend Allan set sail for the Big Apple a few weeks ago and left his collection behind at The 78, we were quick to jump on them for inspiration. Though its not all vegetarian, the Moro cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark has some amazing recipes from all over Europe and the Middle East and when we spotted this recipe for Fatayer (stuffed triangles of flatbread from Lebanon and Syria) we couldn't wait to give it a go.

Our version uses spelt rather that white flour and we created our own filling using the warm, sweet and spicy Moroccan spice blend ras-el-hanout. The result was one of the most delicious lunches ever! When you burst these open and the sweet ras-el-hanout spiced squash, feta fresh basil spill out it truly is a sight to behold. On top of that, wrapping the little triangles and cutting the pastry really is such great fun to do that you'll want to make them all the time.


Ingredients:

Makes 4 Fatayer

Fatayer Dough
220g Spelt Flour plus extra for rolling and baking
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Dried Yeast
1/2 Tsp Brown Sugar
120ml tepid water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Filling
1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and roughly diced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Ras-el Hanout Spice Mix*
80g Feta Cheese
Small Bunch of Fresh Basil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Method:

1. Put the chopped squash into a deep baking tray and coat well with olive oil, ras-el-hanout spice mix, salt and pepper. Cover the tray with foil and bake at 180C for around 30 minutes until the squash is very soft and well cooked.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the dough: place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water then add the oil. Slowly add the liquid to the flour, mixing it in with your hands to get rid of any lumps, then knead for about 5minutes on a well floured surface till you have a soft, smooth dough. (You may need to add more water if its too crumbly or more flour if too wet, whilst kneading.) Set aside under a cloth to rest.
3. Remove the squash from the oven and purée with a fork and season if necessary. (Also, leave the oven on at the same temperature.)
4. Next divide the dough into four and roll into balls. Roll each out on a well floured surface into a rough circle about 5mm thick.
5. Place about 2 tablespoons of the squash mixture in the centre of each circle and shape into a triangle, then top with some chopped basil and crumbled feta. Here comes the fun part...
6. Bring the three sides of the dough up around the triangle of filling and pinch along the edges just above the filling. Then take a pair of scissors and cut off all the excess dough, leaving a perfect little pyramid ready for baking!
7. Place onto a floured sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and put into your pre-heated oven  for 10-15 minutes until the ridges of the fatayer just begin to darken.
8. Serve immediately with a fresh salad.

*Ras El Hanout can often be found in the World section of your local supermarket, or if you're feeling adventurous, you could knock together your own blend. Here's a good recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


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