Spinach & Cheese Vegan Fatayer

These are a staple within Middle Eastern culture but I’ve added my twist to it using gluten-free flour and vegan feta cheese for some of the filling. I made this using my own home made dough; it may seem intimidating for some people but I promise it is a lot easier than you might think.

However, if you just don’t have the time or don’t want to make the dough, feel free to use pre-made dough. Pizza dough can also work but since we’re all spending plenty of time at home it would be a good idea to master a new skill. Other than that, in a nutshell, these are just the perfect appetiser!

For 20 small fatayer:

Ingredients:

The dough:

3 1/2 cups gluten free / plain flour

1 1/2 cup of warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 sachet of instant yeast ( approx 2 tsp)

2 tsp sugar

Salt

1st filling:

Vegan cheese / normal cheese

Zaatar

Olive oil

Salt

2nd filling:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 cup onion, diced

1 tbsp sumac

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 lemon, juice

Salt to taste

Method:

Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Mix well and combine.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.

Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. 

Meanwhile, start by making your spinach filling. Fry the onion in a deep pan and once golden add in the sumac, paprika and and chopped spinach. Once wilted and the spinach turns darker (more brown), add in the pomegranate molasses, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool.

For the second filling, mix the cheese, zaatar, salt and olive oil in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 240°C. Allow it to heat as you shape the fatayer. Lightly grease baking sheet or pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. 

When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a large disc. Using a drinking cup, cut into small disks and fill with the filling of choice. Lift three different edges from the circle and pinch together at the middle. For the other design you can place the filling at the centre, fold in half and using a fork to make a pattern to ensure it’s completely closed.

Once the pastries are filled, place onto a tray and into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Serve and enjoy!

Sarah's Cookery

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