We were in Greece last week and we loved every single thing about our trip. The breath-taking views, the turquoise sea, the captivating landscapes, the cheerful hospitality, the perfectly warm but not too hot weather and of course the food!
Apart from the famous moussaka, tatziki and vine leaves, I didn't know much about Greek food until we visited this beautiful country. And the truth is, there is much more than that to Greek cuisine! My favourite dishes during our trip were the ones that included feta such as Giouvetsi, Kolokithopita and Dakos. Not that I don’t like feta on its own, but it’s funny how feta’s taste blends in a dish and gives it a sour and delicious salty taste. I've been having scrambled eggs with feta almost everyday since we came back. True story. I think I’ve developed a serious obsession with feta. Well, worse things can happen in life.
Zayd’s (my husband) favourite dish was definitely the baked feta topped with honey and sesame seeds. It is usually served as it is or wrapped in pastry. As soon as we came back from our trip he kept asking me to reproduce this dish, which I did, but I also felt like giving it a slight Moroccan twist. So I added dried chopped mint and chopped preserved lemon to the original recipe. The result is delightful; it made me so happy I made a mini version especially for the blog!
Feta and Preserved Lemon Mini Cheese Pie
Makes 10 6 cm (2.5 inch) mini pies
- 200 gr feta
- 2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 320 gr store bought puff pastry sheet
- 3 tablespoons sesame seed
- 1 egg yolk
• Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F).
• In a medium sized bowl, crumble the feta using a fork or your fingertips. Add the preserved lemon, mint, garlic and milk. Stir to combine and set aside.
• Unroll the puff pastry dough. Dip a 6 cm/2.5 inch cookie cutter into the dough and make as many circles as possible. Press the remains of the dough back together, flatten the dough with a rolling-pin and cut out more circles. You should make about 20 circles.
• Place a tablespoon of feta mixture in the centre of a pastry circle, leaving enough of a border to seal the dough (approximately 1,5 cm/ 0.6 inch).
• Dip your fingers in water and brush around the edges of the dough. This will help sealing the dough.
• Gently place a second dough circle on top of the first one and seal the edges with a fork.
• Repeat until you have exhausted all the pastry dough and feta mixture.
• Place all the mini pies on a lined baking tray.
• Sprinkle the mini pies with sesame seeds and with your fingertips gently press the sesame seeds to stick them to the dough.
• Brush the mini pies with egg yolk.
• Transfer in the oven for 15 to 20 minute until golden brown.. Start checking for doneness after 15 minutes.
• Serve warm and top each pie with a tablespoon of honey.