I still remember the first time I tried the Spinach Fatayers in Lebanon. It was a few years ago, we were on the road to visit the archaeological site of Baalbek and we had them as finger food appetizers.
I found them so light and healthy that I decided I had to try to make them at home on my return. And so I did.
I have to admit that I had never thought that spinach and lemon would make such a good match, but the taste is simply delicious.
If you are looking for a light yet filling vegan appetizer give a try to this marvelous small bite and let me know what you think.
- 300g (2 ½ cups) plain flour
- 75ml (2.7 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 150ml (5.4 fl oz) warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 500g (2 ¼ cups) fresh spinach
- 1 big onion (or 2 small) peeled and finely chopped
- The juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 spoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a big bowl combine the flour, the salt and the yeast powder. Make a well in the middle and pour into it the olive oil and the warm water. With a silicon spatula bring the flour in from the sides and mix it well with the liquid. Keep mixing until it all starts to come together, and then keep on mixing with your clean hands and knead it until you have a smooth dough.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth and place in a warm place of the house for at least half an hour until the dough has doubled its volume.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it in a clean flour-dusted surface. Knead it a bit with your hands and, with the help of a rolling pin (lightly dusted in flour), extend it gradually flattening it out.
- With the help of a small round cutter (of approx. 15cm - 6 inches diameter) make the small dough portions and they are ready to be filled with the spinach filling.
- Wash well the spinach, remove the stems from the spinach leaves and tear the leaves into pieces. Add the spinach to a saucepan filled with water and bring them to a boil.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat; transfer the spinach into a large bowl filled with cold water to refresh them. And then strain the spinach using a fine sieve and pressing them gently to squeeze out as much water content from the spinach as possible.
- In a frying pan add 2 spoons of olive oil and the chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden.
- Add then the spinach, the salt and the lemon juice and allow it to cook at low temperature until the juice is consumed, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- To fill in the small dough portions, add 2 teaspoons of the spinach filling to their center and make sure that you keep the sides clear of filling.
- Crimp the round dough into triangular shape by bringing three sides of the dough together, making sure you close the borders well so that they do not open.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 18-20 min at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) or until pies are golden.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy them warm or cold.