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Filo Rolls with Arugula, Spinach and Feta

Earthy spinach and salty feta cheese are traditional partners in Greek cuisine. Here, they’re pumped up with peppery arugula in these crunchy, butter-rich miniature pastries that are a variation on traditional spanakopita.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches (about 1/2 lb.) arugula, tough stems removed  
  • 1 small bunch (about 1/2 lb.) spinach, tough stems removed 
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese, preferably Greek 
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter 
  • 14 sheets filo dough, each 13 by 17 inches 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse the arugula and spinach thoroughly and place in a large, heavy saucepan with the rinsing water still clinging to the leaves. Place over medium-high heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a sieve and press the greens with a wooden spoon to drain well.

Finely chop the greens and place in a bowl. Crumble the cheese into the bowl with the greens and mix gently. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Place the stack of filo sheets near the work surface and keep the sheets covered with a barely damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out when not using them.

Remove 1 filo sheet from the stack, lay it on the work surface and brush lightly with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet and brush lightly with butter. Cut the stacked sheets lengthwise into 6 equal strips. Spoon 1 scant tsp. of the filling near the end of 1 strip closest to you. Roll the edge over the filling, fold over 1⁄4 inch of both sides of the strip and then roll up the filling into a tight cylinder. Place the cylinders on a rimmed baking sheet and brush lightly with butter. Repeat with the remaining strips and then the remaining filo sheets until all of the filling and sheets have been used.

Bake the cylinders until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly on the pan.

Arrange the filo rolls on 1 or 2 warmed platters and serve right away. Makes about 42 pastries; serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers, by Amy Sherman (Oxmoor House, 2008).