Thursday, October 22, 2009

Savory Mediterranean Spinach Phyllo Rollups with Feta & Nuts

Here is the answer to Corinne's challenge to create a low fat (? - kinda) spinach and feta phyllo appetizer...

I like to use the spray instead of brushing with butter because it is faster, somewhat healthier (if you use the olive oil spray) and it doesn't pull and tear the phyllo like the pastry brush.

Hot capicola is a delicious spicy cooked ham coated with paprika and spices. (Kroger has their own Private Selections brand in a sliced 3 ounce package for $4.59.) I like to use it in a creamy pasta with peas instead of using prosciutto.

Folding over the phylo and sprinkling with a little cheese and then nut layer helps keep the phyllo flakey. Using a blend of pinenuts and walnuts gave a great depth of flavor, but Art equally enjoyed the all walnut and parmesan version.

Have fun!

Savory Mediterranean Spinach Phyllo Rollups with Feta & Nuts

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 four ounce package shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, chopped fine
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ounce hot Capicola chopped finely (spicy Italian cooked ham)
1 cup stock divided (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 six ounce package baby spinach leaves
1 eight ounce package non-fat cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Parmesan
3/4 cup toasted pinenuts or walnuts or a combination of the two chopped finely
1 five ounce package feta cheese (or additional Parmesan)
Butter flavor cooking spray

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until onions are translucent. Add the nutmeg, pepper, pepper flakes and salt. Turn up heat to medium high. Add 1/3 cup of stock and cook until evaporated and mushrooms start to brown.

In the mean time, remove any large stems from the spinach. Pile up and roll the spinach and cut into fine ribbons (it took me about 8 times to cut all the spinach).

Pile the spinach on top of the mushroom and pour the remaining 2/3 cup of stock over all. Stir occasionally until liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat to cool.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until light and smooth. Add the egg yolk and beat until smooth, scraping down as necessary.

Fold in the cooled spinach mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Chill.

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Unroll thawed phyllo sheets, cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Take one sheet of phyllo and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place 1 1/2 Tbsp of spinach filling in the center end of the long end of the phyllo. Fold over the left side third over the filling, spray and sprinkle with feta. Fold the other third over the feta and spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with nuts. Roll the phyllo from the filled end. Spray the seam end with spray and place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Spray exterior with spray.

Do not overcrowd the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove to baking rack to cool.

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