Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ricotta And Spinach Filo/Phyllo Baskets

I'd always thought that working with filo would be far too laborious, what with all the brushing and layering. So consequently, I had avoided working with it. Well, until the day someone happened to give me a packet. And after a bit of research, a.k.a Googling, I came away with ideas that made me realise it didn't have to be a chore. So armed with a can of cooking spray, I went to work, and these are what I came up with.

I was so impressed as they looked like something I would buy from a cafe, only tastier. What I like most is that they are so quick to create, and the recipe is very adaptable if you want to bring your own touch to it. Just chop and change the fillings to suit your taste; you could use different vegetables or add meat or add lemon zest, roasted pine nuts, or other cheeses such as feta. Just use your imagination. It is a nice basic recipe for a beginner like me, one you can bring your own flair to.


1 small red onion, chopped.
Spinach, about 100 -500g (depending on your preference).
250g ricotta.
2 eggs, beaten.
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint.
Small bunch of parsley, chopped.
40g Parmesan, grated.
Pinch or two of nutmeg.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
5 large sheets of filo pastry, approx 190g.


Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and lightly fry until soft.
Chop the spinach then add to the pan, cook for a couple minutes until wilted.
Drain the juices from the pan, you may also want to manually squeeze out any excess liquid using your hands. This step is important so the pastry basket wont get a soggy bottom. Set the veges aside to cool a little.
Now add the rest of the filling ingredients to the spinach mixture.
Mix well and give it a taste test and adjust your seasonings accordingly.

Take your 5 sheets of filo and spray each sheet of filo with cooking spray, stacking them evenly on top of each other as you go. Cut the stacked layers into 8 even squares. This is easiest to do with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin. Press each filo stack into the holes in the tin. This is easy to do by 'punching' it in with your fist. It will make 8.

Divide the ricotta mixture amongst the baskets.

Bake at 190 Celsius for 10-20 minutes until pastry is golden and filling is cooked. Keep an eye on them. If the pastry is golden but the filling needs to be cooked longer, just cover them with aluminium foil.

Makes 8

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