- 2 Homemade Discs Filo PastryIf you do not have homemade you will need 12-16 sheets of premade filo pastry
- 5 Diced Beetroot
- 5 Eggs
- 50g Chopped Parsley
- 50g Chopped Basil
- 100g Chopped Spinach
- 100g Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1 Grated / Diced Onions
- 1 Tsp Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 220ml Water
Amazing, deep coloured beetroot complimented with feta cheese and herbs form a pie full of nutrients and flavour with a slightly sweetened taste.
This summer I was surprised with some beetroot being pulled out of the ground. Being given some random seeds back at the start of the year my father in law planted them not knowing what they were, when pulled them from the ground at first I thought Turnips, great! When I realised they were in fact Beetroots I had to get my thinking cap on!
My family in Albania had not tried beetroot before so when I asked about Albanian recipes using this extremely nutritional vegetable they didn’t have a clue – apart from a salad which they knew was a common use.
I wanted to take this beyond a beetroot salad, something that would shout fresh vegetables at the same time of blending in some Albanian traditional food so I began to research and there it was. White Cheese, Feta. Beetroot and Feta compliment each other nicely.
At this point handfuls of fresh herbs and spinach (and a onion left over from a onion plait being made earlier) had been pushed onto the kitchen side in front of me. That’s when I thought about a pie, Byrek – my own version of course.
My mother in law got to work on making some fresh filo pastry while I boiled up the beetroots and mixed up the filling. An hour or so later out came the Byrek me Panxhar (as you would call it in Albania) and it was the moment of truth. A taste test, eeek.
Honestly deep inside I thought they weren’t going to like it but it went down really well. Pite and Byrek are normally savoury so the unfamiliar taste of a slightly sweetened pie raised a few eyebrows. The feta kept the sweetness down and needless to say I was given back an empty plate.
Prepare the Beetroot
Before you make the filo pastry it's best to get the beetroot cooking. Wash the beetroot ensuring to wash off as much dirt as possible and then trim down the stalks.
Place the beetroot into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil until softened. This will take 30 - 40 minutes.
Once cooked drain the beetroot and leave to cool for 30 minutes. While wearing gloves over you hands (i use plastic bags turned inside out) gentle rub away the skin.
Dice the beetroot into chunks and place into a large mixing bowl.
Prepare the filling
For homemade filo pasty:
Add the second disc on top and seal the edges by tucking them down.
For premade filo pastry:
Layer sheets of filo pastry on top of each other brushing a layer of olive oil after each one before the next one is place down. Once 6/8 sheet are laid add the beetroot filling on top.
Repeat the layering until a further 6/8 sheets are on top of the filling - olive oil brushed on each one.
Put a thin layer of oil over the top.
Preparation for Serving