Monday, July 16, 2012

Phyllo stuffed with Swiss Chard

It's summertime once again in Sarajevo. My neighbours have already started to share their Swiss chard and other vegetables from their gardens which  made me realise it's high time I baked some phyllo with summer vegetables - once again. By the way, whenever I make some phyllo, I remember the afternoons we had 5 o'clock tea in Istanbul in the balcony of my parents' place enjoying the setting sun. My mother or sister used to bake or deep-fry some traditional foods to accompany the unique delight we would take in these 5 o'clock teas that I do miss now with the arrival of summer days. 

Five O'Clock Tea by Mary Cassatt
Well, Sarajevo people don't have the tradition of 5 o'clock tea. Let me put it straight -  Bosnian people don't drink black tea at all. Instead, coffee - both Turkish and instant - rules in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Starting from early in the morning until late at night it's pretty normal to drink it for any occasion which makes things even harder for me. 
Anyway, here come the photos of the latest phyllo I made with Swiss chard, onions and garlic. Garnishing it with poppy seeds - for a change - proved to be a really good idea in the end. The phyllo was juicy and soft enough inside and the very thin layers blended with the beaten egg yolk made the crust crunchy enough. So we devoured it all to the  accompaniment of some Turkish tea - as usual. 

1 package phyllo (500 grams)
1 bunch Swiss chard
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
1,5 cups warm milk+1/2 glass oil
salt and black pepper
sesame and poppy seeds

To glaze
1 large egg yolk beaten

Step 1:
  1. De-rib the chard, wash well, and let the chard drain on a kitchen towel (or some paper towels) for a few minutes, so that there’s no excess water on the leaves. Coarsely chop the chard, and set aside. 
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the chard, mix everything together and cook for five minutes, stirring, until almost tender. Add some salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. 
Step 2:
  1. Place a layer of phyllo in a lightly greased ovenproof dish and spread some chard mixture over the phyllo. Repeat layering until all of the chard mixture, and phyllo have been used up. Do remember to pour some milk-oil mixture on the layers while assembling the pie which definitely helps the pie become juicy. Brush the top layer of phyllo with the blaze and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the top   is golden

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