I’ve made traditional sweet baklava before and loved it. I was inspired by a post by Katie at the Kitchen Door for savoury almond, feta and carrot baklava. But was told I wasn’t allowed to cook with anymore feta! Haha – Scott thinks I cook with it too much.
Not one to lose an idea, especially one I knew would be good, I invented a filling of beetroot, thyme, Stilton, honey and walnuts. Sounds good right?
I think I was a little heavy handed with the filling and have revised the quantities slightly to give you a good ratio. The flavours were yummy – make sure you use a good strong Stilton. If it’s not very pungent, consider upping the quantity.
When I ate this I realised that savoury baklava isn’t really that weird. It’s really just a filled pastry. Totally normal! But delicious with all that layered pastry. In a way it’s a little like spanakopita. All phyllo pies are winners in my book!
You will need:
250g yufka/phyllo dough
150g salted butter
200g Stilton cheese, crumbled
300g cooked beetroot
Few sprigs of thyme leaves
2 tbspn honey
1 – Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
2 – Toast the walnuts with a pinch of salt and pound in batches using a mortar and pestle into a moderately fine crumble
3 – Purée the beetroot and stir in the honey, thyme leaves, walnuts and Stilton; check seasoning
4 – Melt the butter in a pan and grab a medium baking dish; use a pastry brush to coat the base and sides of the dish with the melted butter
5 – Unwrap the phyllo sheets and carefully unroll onto a clean surface, keeping the large sheet of plastic used to roll the sheets underneath; dampen the tea towel (not too wet!) and lay it over the phyllo
6 – If the phyllo sheets are too big for your baking pan, trim them with scissors (all layers at once)
7 – Now lay the bottom layer of dough into the butter pan and use the pastry brush to brush butter all over the top of the sheet, making sure to replace the damp towel back over the pastry stack as soon as you’ve removed the first layer
8 – Repeat with layering 6 more sheets to total of 7 sheets of phyllo, buttering the top of each sheet of phyllo before placing the next
9 – Add the first layer of beetroot/nuts, pressing half of the mix over the dough, spreading it flat with a spoon very carefully
10 – Create another phyllo layer by placing a sheet of phyllo on top of the nuts and carefully brushing with melted butter; repeat, layering 6 more sheets in all, with butter between each layer
11 – Add the second and last layer of beetroot/nuts and press flat
12 – Keep going with laying another 7 sheets of phyllo, buttering the top layer
13 – Cut the baklava using a very sharp knife, on the diagonal
14 – Place the pan of baklava in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes; check half way through and rotate the pan for even browning
14 – Meanwhile chop/pound the remaining pistachios and set aside
15 – When the phyllo is evenly golden brown all over, remove the pan from the oven and set on a rack to cool a little before serving with extra honey drizzled on top