from one generation to the next
My potted herb garden is flourishing in the Brisbane humidity. The pots of chives and parsley I shifted from Melbourne. I cut them right back, then they were wrapped in paper, boxed, shifted, then stored for 2 1/2 weeks. Without light and water they managed to survive. Once unpacked, within a week they had regained their vigour and were reaching for the sky. I call them my miracle herbs.
The potted oregano, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, rosemary and mint I bought soon after arriving here. They needed to be cut back to give them the chance to bush up so a colander filled with herbaceous trimmings inspired these crisp flaky filos cigars.
The aromatic flavours of my fresh herbs with added dill and coriander from the fridge, the zest of a lemon, fetta cheese and sumac transported me to the sunny southern coast of Turkey, at a small roadside cafe where I ate an instantly memorable light and flaky cheese and herb gozleme.
Herb and Fetta Filos Rolls
200g fetta cheese
1/2 cup very finely chopped herbs I used garlic chives, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, coriander and parsley
very very generous grinding of black pepper
1/2 teaspon ground sumac
1 teaspoon finely grated zest of a lemon
6-8 sheets of filo pastry
60g butter, melted
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 180C, and line an ovenproof tray with baking paper.
Finely crumble the fetta cheese into a mixing bowl. Add the herbs, sumac, lemon zest, pepper and egg. Thoroughly combine.
Cut the sheets of filo pastry in half so you have 12-16 pieces 28cm X 23cm.
Lay the filo on the worktop and cover with a piece of plastic wrap and a dampened cloth. Work with only one sheet at a time as filo dries out very quickly.
Brush a half of a piece of filo lightly with butter and fold so you have a double thickness.
Spread a dessertspoon of the cheese mixture along a short edge, leaving 1cm clear at each end. Roll the pastry into a cigar shape and seal with a dob of butter. There is no need to turn in the sides, simply flatten the ends to seal.
Continue making rolls until the mixture is used.
Lay the filos on the baking tray with 1cm between. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake until crisp and golden 10 – 15 minutes.
The pastry rolls can be kept refrigerated and baked just before serving, or freeze then transfer straight from the freezer to the oven.