Sunday, October 10, 2010
Fetta and Silverbeet Banitsa
This is one of my all time favourite snacks. I hadn't made it in absolutely ages. It's one of those treats I make when the weather gets a little warmer. You do need to use the oven but I always let the banitsa cool down first before devouring PLUS it's best eaten outside (so the ducks can eat the crumbs!!)
You can add silverbeat to the cheese or just enjoy a simple fetta banitsa.Share it with friends over some beer or a sweet white wine. It's something I grew up with and always reminds me of home. You could even throw some fennel seeds and salt flakes and ground pepper over the top before baking or you can always mix some fresh ricotta with the fetta for a change. Have a play around!
1 pack antoniou filo pastry (from the fridge aisle in the supermarket)
400g south cape greek style fetta cheese
150g butter, melted
bunch of silverbeet, blanched and then squeezed dry (if using)
how to make your banitsa
Pre-heat your oven to 180C and grab 2 x cake tins or 1 large one. Line your work benches with some baking paper (large enough to lay the sheets of filo pastry out flat).
Melt your butter in the microwave in a microwave safe dish (for about 30 secs) set aside.
Grate your feta cheese. I buy the 200g packs so I usually grate one pack per banitsa, so I know the same amount of cheese is in each one. If using silverbeet, have it all ready to go. (sometimes I make one using silverbeet and cheese and the other just cheese but you could make both just with the cheese - it's totally up to you)
Now, take out your filo pastry from the box and lay it out on one of the sheets of baking paper. Bring one sheet of pastry over to the other sheet of baking paper and lay it down. Drizzle an even layer of the melted butter. Grab another sheet of pastry and lay it over the top of the piece you just drizzled butter over. Drizzle some more butter. Grab another sheet and lay it over the top. You should now have 3 sheets on top of each other. Now grab some fetta cheese and make a line lengthways, a mini mountain you could say. Roll it up lengthways and then twist into a snail. This will be the heart of your banitsa (and the yummiest, meltiest part!) Continue on with the other sheets except instead of making into snails you will place the rolled up filo around the heart. (See pic if unsure)until your tin is full. Then, it's on to making your other banitsa.
When finished scatter some fetta cheese over the top of each banitsa and throw in the oven. Bake at 180C for 30 mins until crispy and lightly browned.
Please be careful when it comes out of the oven, the filling will be very,very hot. Let it cool but don't worry the cheese retains it's yummy gooiness. yum yum!