Recipe and images by Amber Bremner
Flaky filo pastry borek baked with a creamy spinach, artichoke and cashew filling are an easy yet impressive main course that doesn’t compromise on flavour or texture. Roll them in snail shapes, as small spring roll sized borek, or arrange long snakes end to end in the pan as one giant snail.
1½ cups raw cashews, soaked
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped (about 120g)
1 heaped cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (about 200g)
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1 package filo pastry sheets (375g)
¼ cup olive oil, for brushing
sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
Soak the cashews for 4‒12 hours in plenty of cold water, or for 15 minutes in very hot but not boiling water. Drain and rinse the cashews, then blend with half a cup of water until smooth.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a fry pan, add onion and cook until golden and softened. Add baby spinach, stir and cook until spinach has wilted. Add chopped artichoke hearts and cook for another 1‒2 minutes. Remove spinach and artichoke mixture to a bowl, then add lemon zest, lemon juice, blended cashews, salt and a good grind of black pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Brush a sheet of filo pastry lightly with olive oil, stack another on top and brush with more oil. Arrange about 2 dessert spoons of filling along the long edge in front of you. Roll to create a long snake, then loosely twirl into a snail shape. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling until you have 7‒8 snails.
Pack the borek snails closely into a cast iron or other baking dish that has been brushed with oil, brush the top of the borek with a little more oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 15‒20 minutes at 220°C fan bake until deeply golden brown. Borek can be served hot or at room temperature.
Quite Good Food www.quitegoodfood.co.nz
Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating things that make you feel good. She believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.