Artichoke and olive blini pan pies

Artichoke and olive blini pan pies

Cooking from the Heart
Mark Roper

This is one of my favourite recipes. I love the fact that these are so very nearly instant, yet look remarkably sophisticated. You get a lovely rounded finish to the pie that will make people wonder how you did it. It helps if you have more than one blini pan, so you don’t have to make the pies one at a time.


Quantity Ingredient
6 fresh artichokes
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
450g small, waxy salad potatoes, peeled and sliced pencil-thick
pinch saffron, dissolved in 275 ml boiling water
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2/3 cup meaty-fleshed green olives, pitted and sliced
1-2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoons chives, finely snipped
1 small piece preserved lemon, or lemon juice, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons thickened cream
12 sheets filo pastry
90g butter, melted
or 90ml olive oil


  1. Prepare the artichokes by trimming the tops to about halfway down the leaves. Snap off the tough outer leaves and trim down again to the heart. Cut each artichoke in half and use a teaspoon to remove the hairy choke. Immediately rub the exposed surfaces with the lemon half to stop them browning. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a bowl of water. Slice the artichokes thickly and add them to the water.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, then remove using a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat, add the potatoes and saffron stock to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the artichokes and garlic and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the olives, parsley, chives, preserved lemon and sautéed onion, then stir in the cream. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Lay each filo sheet on a clean, dry surface. Cut each one into three pieces and pile them on top of each other to stop them drying out. Brush the top piece with melted butter or oil and place it in an oiled blini pan, then brush another with butter or oil and place at right angles to the first. Continue in this way until you have used six pieces. Spoon a sixth of the artichoke filling into the pan, folding the overlapping pieces of filo over so that the filling is securely encased.
  5. Fry the pie over medium–high heat for 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp underneath, then flip the pie over and brown the underside. Keep the pie warm in the oven while you prepare and cook the remaining pies.
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