Mushroom Gorgonzola Spanakopita
Recipe courtesy of Carole Nelson Brown from The Yum Yum Factor
Makes: (30 approx.)
1 454g package frozen filo pastry, *thawed at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbls olive oil 1/2 leek, sliced thinly 1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb mixed mushrooms ( I used 3/4 button and 1/4 shiitake) slice
2- 3 tbls butter
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon port
2 handfuls baby arugula
145g gorgonzola, crumbled ( you will get a heaping cup)
1/4 cup ricotta
*Thaw the filo pastry overnight in the fridge then let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before using or you can also let it thaw for 3 hours at room temperature. Unused filo can be kept in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap for 5 to 7 days.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized, heavy pan and throw in the leeks. Saute over medium heat until the leeks start to take on colour and brown, adding the garlic in for the last minute. At this point, push the leeks and garlic to the side of the pan and start adding the mushrooms in batches. Add just enough to cover the pan in one layer, sprinkle with a small pinch of kosher salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper and brown.
- When they are nice and brown, push them to the side of the pan and pile them up on the leeks, add about 1/2 a tbls of butter and add the next batch of mushrooms, salt and saute and continue to do this until all the mushrooms are browned. At this point, mix all of the mushrooms with the onions and add the port to deglaze the pan.
- Stir a few more times and then scrape the contents of the pan into a shallow bowl. While the mushrooms are still hot, throw in a couple of handfuls of baby arugula and keep stirring until the arugula is completely wilted and then let it cool to room temperature.
- When the mixture is room temperature, add in the crumbled gorgonzola and the ricotta and mix well until everything is totally incorporated into the mushrooms.
- You can make the pastries right away or you can store the filling in the fridge but take it out 30 minutes before to bring it back to room temperature.
Making the Spanakopita:
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
- Unwrap the filo pastry and cover with plastic wrap, then cover the plastic wrap with a damp towel. Work swiftly as the dough is delicate and dries out quickly, taking out only two sheets at a time.
- Place one piece of filo dough on a clean work surface so that the long edge is closest to you. (make sure the rest of the dough is covered while you work) Brush the sheet with some melted butter and then press a second sheet on top, smoothing it down so that the butter makes them stick together.
- Cut the piece, lengthwise, into four strips or five strips (roughly 12” x 2 3/4” strips – how many you get will depend on the brand of filo you buy as they are all slightly different sizes) . Use a ruler and a pizza cutting wheel or a very sharp, long knife to make it easier and to ensure a straight cut.
- Put 1 tbls of filling 1 cm from bottom of each strip and then fold the right hand corner over so the bottom edge meets the side edge to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Continue folding the strip like a flag, keeping the triangle shape. When you get to the last turn, brush the end with some more butter to serve as glue and finish the fold. Transfer each finished triangle pastry to a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep going until you have used all of your filo and/or filling.
- Brush the tops of the triangles with more butter, sprinkle a pinch of sesame seeds on each one and bake for about 15-20 minutes , until nice and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If you want to make them ahead of time, you can form them, brush with butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and then place them in a single layer in a large freezer bag, covering the top with a piece of parchment and freeze them Bake the spanakopita straight from the freezer in the same way as you do for freshly made.