I was clearing out the fridge recently and came across some herb and peppercorn fermented cashew cheese that I had made and stored in olive oil a couple of months back. I’d forgotten all about it and it is lucky I did. It had matured in the jar and it now tastes much sharper than when it was initially made. I ate some of it in a baked potato last night, and had some more on toast this morning with asparagus. Both delicious. But I’m using the last of this with some spinach and silver beet from the garden to make gozleme, a pastry that I first ate in Turkey eight years ago. I was lucky enough to get a lesson from a local woman who was making them at a small family run café. I had no Turkish and she had no English, but we managed. Food is a nice universal language. I have no chance of rolling them as thinly or as quickly as she did. The recipe for the dough is not really traditional at all. The authentic dough is yeasted, but usually I can’t be bothered to wait, so I use self-raising flour. You can also roll, oil and fold the dough to create layers in the dough – like puff pastry. This is most of the work. Again, you can leave it out if you are in a hurry. They are still damn good. However you prepare the dough, yeasted or not, layered or not, once the pastry is ready, just fill and fry them in a small amount of oil so they don’t stick. This time I used some of the oil that had been marinating the cheese. This gave the pastry a nice extra herb and pepper kick. It is traditional to use spinach and feta in the filling, but I’ve made them with lots of different things. Roasted vegetables are good, but whatever I use, I always like the salty hit of some feta ‘cheese’ in mine. You can buy vegan feta in Australia, Blue Lotus make a marinated tofu called To-fetta or you can make delicious feta by marinating tofu in a mix of miso and water for a few days. You can then store it in oil with other spices like peppercorns and chillis. A really great recipe for this by Bryanna Clark Grogan is available here.
- 1½ cups plain flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 150ml water
- 100g spinach
- 50g non dairy feta cheese (I've used matured soft cashew cheese, you can also marinate tofu pieces in miso/water to get a great feta substitute. There are also a number of commercially available vegan feta.)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl
- Add the oil and water and mix to a soft dough. Don't knead too much.
- Divide into three pieces and roll out into a rough circle 30 cmin diameter. The size may vary, you just need to roll the dough as thinly as you can.
- Fill with spinach and feta on one half and fold over and seal. Fry in a pan for a few minutes each side on a low heat until nicely golden.
- Slice into strips to serve.