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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nettle Filo pastry

Nettle Filo pastry

Nettles aren’t the first thing to come to mind when I think of “food” – I encountered them in England when I was nine and my classmates told me they felt really soft if I just brushed my hand over them gently. I was surprised when they showed up in the box last year - I didn’t even know they grew in Canada! But I managed to get over my painful memories and re-create a dish I had eaten in Ireland under the impression that it was spinach.

Make sure you clean the nettles well by dumping them out of a bag into a strainer or collander, rinsing them thoroughly and dumping the strainer into the pot without ever touching the raw nettles!

(serves 4-6)

4 cups or so of nettles

2 eggs

¾ cup of feta cheese

2 T Parmesan

Melted butter

¼ tsp pepper

10 sheets of filo pastry

Boil the nettles in a large pot of water for 10 minutes; drain. (You can save the nettle water for an apparently-really-healthy soup stock.) Beat the eggs; mix with the feta and parmesan. Chop the nettles and mix into the feta; add pepper. Coat the inside of a small oven-proof dish with butter, and line with ½ of the filo sheets. Brush with butter. Spoon in the cheese mixture and cover with the rest of the filo. Seal the edges and brush the top with butter. Make a few slits in the top of the package for the steam to escape. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until filo is golden and crispy.

This would also work with ricotta.

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