I made some delicious roulades yesterday based on this recipe from a blog called “Souvlaki for the Soul” (picture to come!!). Now, I’ve been looking for a food just like this: a compact savoury snack that’s versatile, not too fiddly to make, and perfect for taking on the road. These Roulades (as I’m calling them) fit the bill 100%! They can also be made to fit a budget (the feta in my recipe was a bit pricey), and also to use up things in the fridge that need eating up.
Attention: moms, the pastry would be fun to make with kids, and they make great park food! They’re also fun to eat. It would be easy to do a sweet or savoury version, and the fat content of this particular pastry recipe is not too high. The filling here was too much of a “strong flavour” for my little one (she prefers “mild flavour”), so next time I might substitute ricotta for the feta. And I’m dreaming about doing a pizza roulade for our road trip tomorrow.
One caveat: though these are perfect foods for taking on a summer picnic, they are not so much fun to cook on a hot day, as they require about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. But if you have a cool evening, it might be worth whipping up a batch for the next couple days’ lunches.
Spinach Feta Roulades
2 cups minus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 oz or 6 tbsp or 1 1/2 sticks of cold lard, shortening or butter
1/2 cup cold milk
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the fat using a pastry blender or a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the milk slowly as you gently stir with a fork. Stir together until a soft dough is formed. Knead gently for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Wrap the ball of dough and put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to relax while you make the filling.
1 package of thawed frozen chopped spinach, or about the same weight in fresh spinach, washed and chopped very fine
1-2 scallions, chopped finely
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (optional: I didn’t use this)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional: I didn’t use these)
Mix all together in a bowl and season with pepper if needed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove dough from fridge and roll into a 35 x 20 cm rectangle. Spread filling over the rectangle, leaving a bare “lip” at the end. Gently roll lengthwise. Brush the bare “lip” with water or egg white to seal the roll. Chill for 2 hours (or not) and then cut into rounds, about 1.5 cm thick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some room between each roulade for expansion. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and rearrange on the baking sheet so they bake evenly. Return to oven for 15 more minutes or until lightly browned.
Enjoy, with a bowl of gazpacho soup, or on a shady blanket in a sunny park.