In this very Turkish typical dish, we replaced the salty feta with tofu and pine nut butter. Feel free to use the same amount of feta as tofu if you prefer a dairy version, just be careful how much salt you add to the spinach as the feta is quite salty.

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large (banana) shallots, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 600g (21 ounces) baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 400g (14 ounces) firm tofu, cut into 1 cm squares
  • 4 tablespoons pine nut butter* or store-bought cashew butter
  • Salt to taste

For Assembly:

  • 12 sheets filo pastry
  • 100g (¾ cup) olive oil

Nigella seeds

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil, add the shallots and saute stirring occasionally until the shallots are very soft and starting to turn golden, add the garlic and saute for a further 30 seconds until fragrant.
  1. Add the spinach and cook, stirring until the spinach wilts – about 1 minute, set aside to cool completely.
  1. Once the spinach is cool, drain any liquid that has collected at the bottom of the saute pan and discard, place the spinach mixture into a bowl add the cubed tofu, and pine nut butter (or cashew butter); stir and season to taste with plenty of salt.

To assemble:

  1. Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉). Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Work with one sheet of filo at a time, making sure to keep the remaining sheets covered with a tea towel so that they don’t dry out.
  3. Place the filo in a portrait position. Brush the whole sheet with olive oil. Place a large tablespoon full of spinach mixture at the bottom center of the filo and shape the mixture into a log, fold the sides of the filo sheet into the center, the sides will not meet. Roll up the log around the spinach in a tight roll. Place on the baking tray brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Repeat with remaining filling and filo, remembering to keep filo covered as you work.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filo cigars are golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra pine nut butter or yogurt.