Does anyone else still act like a child when Autumn arrives? I find myself walking around deliberately stepping on dry leaves that have fallen from the trees just to feel them ‘crunch’ underfoot!
No? Just me? Alright then! Well hopefully there’s one thing we can all agree we love about Autumn – and that’s the arrival of these little guys in the shops…
As soon as I spotted this pumpkin I knew Autumn was here – despite the fact we’re experiencing some sort of unseasonal UK heatwave as I write this post! Nevertheless, pumpkins have inspired my very first seasonal blog recipe: pumpkin feta filo parcels.
I prefer my pumpkin cooked with a bit of spice, so I roasted the pumpkin cubes in cayenne pepper and poppy seeds along with some pine nuts and garlic before adding them to the filo pastry.
Using filo pastry to create the parcels makes them a great, lighter alternative to your traditional Autumnal pumpkin pie. They have spinach in them too, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on your greens!
The only problem with using a lighter pastry like filo is that it’s super easy to rip holes in by accident. I found the best way to make the parcels more sturdy was to cut ready-rolled pastry into squares and then layer the squares diagnolly over one another before filling, like this…
You can then brush the corners with olive oil and pinch up into a little parcel for cooking. Before it goes in the oven, it should look something like this…
Once you have your parcels they only take 10-15 minutes to cook until the pastry is golden brown – so simple! Here’s the recipe if you fancy trying them out while pumpkins are still in the shops!
Ingredients (makes four parcels):
- 1 mini pumpkin, deseeded and cubed (or 1/4 of a large one)
- 1 tsp black poppy seeds
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 25g pine nuts
- Large handful of spinach
- 100g feta cheese, cubed
- 4 sheets of ready-rolled filo pastry, cut into 8 squares
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pastry with
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and get a roasting tray ready.
- Mix the olive oil, poppy seeds, cayenne pepper and garlic together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pumpkin cubes and pine nuts to the bowl and toss until fully coated in the olive oil mix.
- Roast the pumpkin and pine nuts for 20-25 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.
- Meanwhile, cook the spinach in boiling water for about five minutes. Drain and let cool before using a tea towel or some kitchen towel to squeeze any excess water out of the spinach.
- Take the pumpkin out of the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Make your first parcel by layering two filo squares over one another in a diamond shape (as pictured above). Add 1/4 of the spinach, pumpkin and feta to the middle of the parcel.
- Brush the corners of the pastry with oil and pinch up into a parcel (it’s easiest to do this with the top layer first, and then the bottom layer). Then, brush the whole parcel lightly with oil ready for cooking.
- Once you’ve created your other three parcels, pop all of them into the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees until the pastry is golden brown.
- Serve the parcels on their own or with crème fraîche for dipping.