Leek, goat’s cheese and currant spanakopita cigars

Leek, goat’s cheese and currant spanakopita cigars

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

Serve as part of a mezze selection with a salad of mixed herbs, pickled turnips, shallots and black olives. They also make brilliant cocktail party nibbles.


Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 bunch spinach, stalks removed and leaves shredded
60g butter
3 leeks, cut into 1 cm dice, white parts only
1/3 cup currants, soaked in dry sherry for 15 minutes
150g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried mint
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 sheets fillo pastry
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the shallots and garlic and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until they soften. Throw in the spinach leaves, turning them as they wilt down. When all the spinach has wilted, tip into a colander and press out the moisture well. Transfer to the fridge to chill.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and fry the leeks very gently until soft but not coloured. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Drain the currants. Add to the chilled spinach with the goat’s cheese, cooled leeks, currants, nutmeg and mint and season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Stack the sheets of filo pastry on the work surface and cut crosswise into four strips, each bout 10 cm x 17 cm. Work with one strip of pastry at a time and keep the rest covered with a tea towel. Place a spoonful of filling across one end of the strip. Fold the sides in and roll up like a cigar, sealing the sides and the end with a little water. Repeat with the remaining 15 rectangles.
  5. Heat the oil in a small saucepan or deep-fryer to 180ºC. Deep-fry the cigars for 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towel and keep warm while you fry the remaining cigars.
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