I’ve already done savoury flapjacks, so why not savoury baklava? (don’t answer that)
Baklava is a Turkish dessert that’s usually made with nuts and honey, but since I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, I thought I’d make it a bit more ‘me’ by making a savoury version. I love taking a well-known recipe and mixing it up and making it a bit different – see pizza quesadillas, Welsh rarebit lasagne, cauliflower risotto… (wow, I’ve done a lot of weird recipes in the past month or so). I hope you like them too, because I find it really fun to play with an old idea and make it into something new.
Even if you’re not convinced by the idea of savoury baklava, just think of this recipe as a savoury filo pie and perhaps you’ll be on board. If not, well… there are plenty of other recipes here for you to check out.
I stuffed the flaky filo with a creamy kale and mushroom mixture with ricotta cheese, garlic and parsley – absolutely delish. And in a nod to the usual sweet version of baklava, I cut the slab into diamonds, and even drizzled it with a little honey and sprinkled it with chopped walnuts.
Sounds bizarre –> totally works (promise)
I think some people are a bit scared of filo pastry – I’ve seen a lot of people complain how it’s so thin, and fiddly, and it tears really easily, and omg if I leave it alone for twenty seconds without spritzing it with water it will totally dry out…
My thoughts: who cares?
Who cares if you put your finger through a layer? You’re going to stick many more on top of it anyway. Who cares if it gets a little dry on the edges? It’s about to be baked… it ends up all crispy anyway.
In fact I think filo is actually way easier to work with than most other pastries – there’s no rolling, no cutting into shape, no trimming edges – just lay the sheets out on top of each other, giving them a quick spray of oil or brushing with melted butter in between, and you’re done.
It lends itself perfectly to my favourite style of cooking: ‘beautifully rustic’.
(i.e. a bit messy, but you can pretend it was meant to look like that)
So, savoury baklava: an abomination, or a tasty variation on an old favourite? (I vote the latter)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, halved then thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ~ 6 medium mushrooms, diced
- 2 large handfuls curly kale, roughly chopped
- 250 g ricotta cheese (~ 1 cup)
- ~ 15 black olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Black pepper
- Spray oil or melted butter
- 50 g filo pastry (~ 10 sheets measuring 9x6 inches)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for a few more minutes until they’re soft. Next add the kale, and again cook for a couple more minutes, until slightly wilted.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and leave for a few minutes to cool. Add the ricotta, olives and parsley, season generously, and mix well to combine.
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Lightly grease a baking sheet (I used spray oil, but you could use melted butter if you prefer), and lay out one sheet of filo pastry (I had 10 sheets in total, measuring approx. 9x6 inches each). Lightly grease the pastry, and add another layer. Continue until you have 5 layers of pastry.
Add the filling mixture to the pastry, and spread it out into an even layer. Add the remaining 5 sheets of filo pastry, again lightly spraying with oil or brushing with melted butter between each sheet.
Cut diamond shapes through the top layers of pastry - don’t cut quite to the edges, so it still holds together. Top with more black pepper, and bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Serve drizzled with a small amount of honey, and sprinkled with chopped walnuts.
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.