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Spinach and Feta Triangles with Pine Nuts and Sumac

March 17, 2022

These delicious little filo pastries—called im’warrah b’spanekh in Arabic—are often served by Syrian Jews for the Sabbath or for special occasions, with perhaps some garlic-flavored yogurt on the side. If you like, you can also use Swiss chard leaves or beet greens instead of spinach.

Featured in: The Sour Joys of Sumac

Ingredients

  • 1lb fresh spinach
  • 2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • ½cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2tsp ground sumac
  • ¼tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Grating of nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 or 8large sheets fresh or thawed frozen filo pastry
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 3 or 4Tbsp sesame seeds, for dusting
Yield: about 36 pastries

Preparation

  • Step 1

    To make the filling, wash the spinach and cook in a covered saucepan for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. The water clinging to the leaves is sufficient to prevent scorching. Drain well, removing as much water as you can, then chop coarsely.

  • Step 2

    Heat 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and scallions. Cook over a moderate heat until tender. Add the spinach and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Place the feta cheese in a mixing bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the spinach mixture, pine nuts, sumac, and spices and season with salt and black pepper.

  • Step 3

    Cut the filo pastry into strips about 3 inches wide x 12 inches long. Place in a pile and cover with a cloth to prevent them drying out. Take one strip of filo pastry and brush lightly with olive oil. Place a heaping teaspoonful of the filling over the bottom end of the pastry strip. Carefully lift up the right-hand corner and fold over to make a triangle. Fold over and over again until you have reached the top. Repeat with the remaining filo strips and filling.

  • Step 4

    Place the filo triangles side by side on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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