Spinach & Feta Fatayer
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Spinach & Feta Fatayer

In Arabic, fatayer (فطائر) means “pie”. These delicious little pies are a staple of Lebanese cuisine and served alongside other tasty mezze classics. Golden, flaky, homemade dough encases a filling of spinach, feta cheese, onions and seasoned with flavours such as pomegranate molasses and sumac – lush.

Fatayer are typically folded into neat little triangle pockets which make them the perfect snack. I serve them as part of my PomPom Persian Picnics, which are busting boxes of Middle Eastern treats for you and your significant other.

Don’t be intimidated by needing to make homemade dough; this her is a basic pizza dough which is super simple to make, just requires a little pre-thinking and time set aside. I always make double so that I have extra in the fridge, which means another dinner which I don’t have to put much effort into, like homemade pizzas! You’ll find fresh piles of Fatayer in any local bakeries in Lebanon with a variety of fillings. Use my touch recipe as a starting block but feel free to experiment with Lame (meat) fillings or perhaps a sweetened ricotta, honey and sultana filling for a treat. 

Spinach & Feta Fatayer

Spinach & Feta Fatayer

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Course: Snacks, LunchCuisine: LebaneseDifficulty: Medium
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

15

minutes

Use my touch recipe as a starting block but feel free to experiment with Lame (meat) fillings or perhaps a sweetened ricotta, honey and sultana filling for a treat. 

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 3 cups bread flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp active yeast

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

  • Spinach & Feta Filling
  • 2 300g bags frozen spinach

  • 1 pack feta, dried & crumbled

  • 1 onion

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp sumac

  • 1 tbsp za’atar, plus a little extra to garnish

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp harissa powder

  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • 1/2 lemon, juice of

  • 1 egg

Directions

  • Dough
  • Mix half a cup of warm milk with the sugar and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom or double in size for 10 minutes. 
  • Once the yeast has foamed, add salt, and half of the flour. Mix together and then slowly add the oil, remaining milk and flour with mix until the dough forms a ball and is soft and pliable. 
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more slough to your hands if the dough begins to stick. 
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour – 1 hour and a half. 
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, form into 2 inch balls using excess flour and cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel for another 30 minutes to rise again. 
  • Filling
  • Whilst your dough is proofing, defrost the frozen spinach and squeeze out all of the excess moisture. Set aside.
  • Finely dice the onions and place in a bowl with the dried spinach, add the crumbled feta, sumac, salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, pomegranate molasses and mix well. Juice the lemon but only add it to the filling right before stuffing to ensure that the filling doesn’t get too wet. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. 
  • Preheat the over to 180° and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper or lightly grease with oil. 
  • On a large, lightly floured surface, roll the dough balls into 5-inch circles. Each time you roll out a circle, place around 2 tablespoons of filling into the middle. Bring 2 sides together and pinch to seal. Bring the third side up so it looks like a triangle and pinch the sides together to form the final seam. Place on a baking sheet. 
  • Which the egg and using a pastry brush, egg wash the tops of the fatayer right before popping in the oven. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until beautiful golden brown. 
  • Serve warm or cold with a generous helping of “Khiar Bel Laban” or Lebanese style Tzatziki.

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