“Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.”
Fatayer, A Middle Eastern Spinach Pie
Change is a very good thing. It is sometimes a difficult thing, but for the most part I believe that change is a good thing. It opens not only doors but also our minds. It keeps us engaged and interesting.
Whoever it was it that said “familiarity breeds contempt” was right. It’s not necessarily one of our more kindly traits, but too much of a good thing is still just too much, therefore it is only logical that change is the answer.
Food being reimagined is a big part of the importance of change… sometimes.
Certain recipes or dishes were born perfect and nothing about them need ever change and this old recipe for Middle Eastern Spinach Pies or Fatayer (pronounced Fat-ai-yah) is at the top of that list.
I’m sure there are many modern interpretations of this treat and I’d be willing to bet that they’re very good, but I can’t imagine anything more satisfying to the palate, and indeed the soul, as this delightful Middle Eastern Pie.
Setting up for the second rise
Besides these little devils are a sufficiently time consuming project that while the outcome is ALWAYS worth the effort, the frequency with which you choose to make them will ensure that you never tire nor feel the need to change them!
Once you get the feel for how they fold together the process is quite easy!
I hope that you will try making these. They are challenging, yes, but in keeping with change, maybe taking on a challenge like this you may find your mind opening to trying other fun projects in the kitchen.
Enjoy & Namaste
- In a large bowl mix together the first 6 ingredients
- Divide dough into 36 smaller balls of dough, cover with a tea towel and allow a second rise for about 20 minutes or so.
- Using your fingers, press the dough into circles about 5" in diameter or as thin as you can make them while keeping a round shape.
- Place a heaping TBSP of the spinach mixture into the centre of the round.
- Using about ⅔ of the dough, pinch two sides together, being careful not to allow the dough where you will pinch together to touch the spinach mixture as the oil will inhibit the dough sticking, forming a pie wedge like shape.
- Fold the final third into to meet the first join creating a triangle shape.
- Allow a little bit in the centre of the join to remain open to act as an air vent.
- Continue with remaining dough balls in the same manner.
- Bake in a 425 F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. You'll know you're getting close when you start being able to smell them.
- Brush with melted butter or olive oil the moment they pop out of the oven for an added hit of delicious.
- Serve with lebneh.