Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Spinach Fatayer

Good finalSo many of the meals we make for this blog are inspired by our favorite Mediterranean establishments, and this recipe is no exception.  I ate my first fatayer at Carousel Restaurant in the heart of LA’s Little Armenia.  I haven’t been able to replicate their tangy, creamy hummus yet, but I think that these fatayer come pretty close to theirs.

Fatayer are small pies filled with either spinach or cheese, served throughout the Middle East.  For these spinach fatayer, I combined and adapted a couple of recipes to create a vegan version full of spice and acid.  I’ll admit that this recipe is a cinch when using store-bought dough, but possibly more rewarding when every component is homemade.  They’re particularly delicious dipped in hummus, but I’m sure that any creamy dip would make them sing.  –jaime

Spinach Fatayer (makes about 20)

Adapted from Faith Gorsky’s Edible Mosaic

Ingredients

Pie dough (see recipe below for homemade or buy packaged)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 onion

1 tablespoon sumac

1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out (removing the water is key to the success of this dish)

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 teaspoon salt

2 dashes of aleppo or cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup pine nuts

Directions

1.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon canola oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in sumac.

2.  Combine onion/sumac mixture, thawed and squeezed spinach, the lemon juice through pine nuts, and the remaining canola oil in a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.

3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.  Spray baking sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

4.  Roll out dough (with a rolling pin if using homemade) and stamp out circles that are about 3 inches in diameter.  You can do this with either a cookie cutter or the lip of an appropriately sized glass (see photo).  Put each circle on the baking sheets.  When circles are cut out, combine remaining scraps of dough, roll them out and repeat the process.

5.  Place about a tablespoon in the middle of each circle.  Fold two sides of the circle so that they meet at a point and pinch together.  Lift remaining 3rd side so that it comes to two points with the others and pinch those together, forming a triangle.  Repeat with all others.

6.  Line up fatayer seam side up about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Brush a little olive oil on top of each.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Make sure to rotate baking sheets once halfway through cooking.

Serving suggestion:  I like these served warm with hummus and salad, but they can be served room temperature with just about anything.

Good filling

Good circles

Savory Vegan Pie Dough

Adapted from Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern food bible, New Book of Middle Eastern Food

Ingredients

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Pinch of sugar

About 1/2 cup lukewarm water

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Directions

1.  Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water.  Leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes.

2.  Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then add in the oil.  Add the yeast mixture.

3.  Add remaining water slowly, but only enough so that the dough holds together in a ball.  If the dough gets too wet, add a little bit of flour at a time until it thickens again.  You can begin mixing with a fork, but will probably need to use your hands to knead after a while.  Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.

4.  Put a 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the bowl.  Roll the dough around in it, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the dough in a warm place for about 2 1/2 hours.  The dough should double in bulk and be ready for use.

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6 comments on “Mezze: Spinach Fatayer

  1. Mooma
    January 8, 2013

    These are DELISH!!!

  2. Pingback: Mezze: Spinach Borek « Mezze & Dolce

  3. Pingback: Mezze: Perfected Fattoush Salad | Mezze & Dolce

  4. Pingback: Inspiring Ingredient: Sumac | Mezze & Dolce

  5. Pingback: Mezze: Chicken-Zucchini Kofte | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Mezze, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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