Bok choy (or pak choy) is one of the rare autumn and winter vegetables I always look forward to. As much as I love its stir-fried crisp stalks, I have never liked the texture of warm limp leaves, so if my bok choy had abundant leafy part (sometimes half of its height), I used to cut off about 3/4 of the leaves and throw it away. I hate wasting food, so I kept on experimenting with this unwanted part until I found a dish where its softness would be more than welcome. It worked perfectly as the spinach replacement in the famous Greek Spanakopita filling I have been making for some time according to Katerina’s excellent recipe. The result is equally delicious, though of course not strictly Greek…
Instead of a whole pie I have made individual filo rolls, the form I prefer and find easier. I have slightly modified Katerina’s Spanakopita recipe, mainly adding garlic, so make sure you check her original recipe on Culinary Flavors where you will also find homemade filo pastry instructions.
TIPS: If you have less bok choy or less feta, feel free to change the ratio. I think that increasing the bok choy’s amount is less risky (feta is very salty).
The chopped dill is not obligatory here. If you use it, either use it fresh or frozen (not dried).
Preparation: about 1 hour
Ingredients (makes 6 rolls):
6 sheets of filo pastry
150 g feta cheese, crumbled
3 big handfuls of chopped bok choy leaves
1 big clove garlic, crushed
(2 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped dill)
1 flat tablespoon cracked wheat (you can use semolina instead, but I prefer cracked wheat)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the chopped leaves into a bowl and squash them with your hands until the volume is reduced. Crumble the drained feta into a bowl. Add the chopped leaves, dill (if using), cracked wheat and some ground black pepper, stir well and with a spoon divide into 6 equal portions (this will make the filo sheets’ filling process much easier).
Spread one filo sheet on a big chopping board.
Place horizontally, about 2,5 cm/1 in. from the filo sheet’s shorter edge which is closest to you, a portion of feta and bok choy mixture.
Roll tightly but delicately, starting from the edge which is closest to you, folding the two lateral edges into the roll, so that the filling doesn’t leak during the baking process (I have folded here about 3 cm/about 1,2 inch on each side).
Proceed in the same way with the remaining rolls.
Brush the top of the rolls with some oil or melted butter, place on a baking tray or baking paper and bake in the oven until slightly golden (about 30 minutes in mine). Watch them often as they tend to burn quite quickly.