Spotting a pack of whole wheat filo dough at the grocery store took me back in time, all the way to childhood when my mom would often make borek with spinach filling for breakfasts. She would use yoghurt to soften and combine layers of freshly rolled, paper-thin dough and she would fill it with spinach, lightly sauteed with onions. I know that cooked spinach may not sound appetizing to everyone but trust me on this, it was incredibly tasty, even for a kid.
My mom didn’t use filo dough (also known as fillo or phyllo) which is a very thinly rolled, unleavened dough that is used to make baklavas and pastries. She used somehing less starchy and less crispy. I have to note that I am not particularly fond of filo dough but it works quite well in a pinch. But the star of this recipe is really the filling and it can be used with other options such as hand rolled doughs.
The creaminess of my childhood borek was due to a yoghurt mix, as I mentioned. That was easy enough to replace with the better vegan option: cashew cream. If you don’t yet know how to make a cashew cream, no worries. An illustrated recipe for that basic vegan staple is on its way. In the mean time, a simple google search on that will have to do.
The recipe for the spinach filo roll up is below. Please make sure to check out the pictures and, better yet, the movie below though. They will hopefully make the verbal directions more meaningful.
- 8 sheets filo dough 14x9 inches, thawed
- 1 cup frozen spinach thawed
- 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parsleys finely chopped
- 1/2 cup earth balance vegan butter melted
- 1/3 cup cashew cream
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tsp ground blackpepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Salt as needed
Mix all the ingredients (except filo dough and the earth balance) thoroughly and set aside
Spread 1 sheet of filo dough and lightly brush with earth balance
Top with another sheet of filo dough, lightly brushing with earth balance again
Spread 1/4th of the filling mixture along the short edge of the filo dough stack
Fold in the dough from both long edges for a few inches overlap
Starting from the short edge, roll up to a log
Brush the top of the log with earth balance
Make cross cuts (deep enough to reach the filling but not enough to slice the log through) on the top layer, in about 1 inch intervals
Optionally sprinkle the top with toasted sesame seeds
Repeat the rollup steps with the remaining filo dough to make 3 more logs
Bake for about 25 mins (or until golden on top) in an oven preheated to 350F