You will find many occasions to serve this Easy Cheese and Herb Filo Pie, which meets all the required criteria for my favourite recipes. It is quickly and easily made and is full of flavour. Furthermore, you can assemble it in just 20 minutes and while it bakes there is time to prepare a salad to accompany it.
1/2cupfresh mint leaves - finely choppedSee Note 4
freshly ground black pepper - to tasteSee Note 5
For the Topping:
1tbspsesame seeds - optionalSee Note 2
1tbspextra virgin olive oilSee Note 2
If your filo is frozen, defrost the pastry in the refrigerator for several hours before you plan to use it. There will be instructions on the packet. If you defrost it on your workbench, it may become very gummy. This is not a process to rush. If you try to pull it apart before it has fully defrosted, you will tear the pastry.If your filo is from the refrigerator, or after it has defrosted, proceed as below.
Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F).
Open the packet of filo, spread it out on your workbench on a sheet of waxed paper or a sheet of cling wrap. Immediately cover the pastry with a sheet of waxed paper, cling wrap or a barely damp tea towel. – See Note 1
Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Remove one sheet of filo, place on your kitchen bench and brush with the olive oil, or spray with olive oil if you prefer.
Roughly scrunch the filo and place it in the base of a 23cm x 33 cm (9 inch x 13 inch) baking pan.Repeat this with 5 more sheets until the base of the pan is covered. Use another sheet of filo, if necessary, to fill in any gaps.Place into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Whilst the pastry is baking, add to a large bowl the crumbled feta, grated parmesan, lightly beaten eggs, milk, mint, nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. Mix the ingredients well together.
Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the cheese mixture over the scrunched filo.Drizzle on the additional tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on the sesame seeds (if using).
Bake for about 30 minutes until the top becomes golden and the pastry crisp and crunchy.
Cut into serving pieces whilst still warm.Serve with a tossed green salad, or our Marinated Tomato Salad. The pie is also delicious when served cold.
The filo pastry will dry out very quickly if exposed to the air. Cover it as soon as you open it. Damp tea towels are frequently recommended. However, the towel must be barely damp otherwise the pastry will become gummy. You can also use cling wrap or waxed paper. I first place the unrolled pastry onto some waxed paper or some cling wrap. Then, I cover the dough with cling wrap but for additional protection, I also use a barely damp tea towel on top of that; it helps keep the cling wrap in place.
The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurements if necessary
For the best flavour, I suggest you use Italian Parmesan and grate it yourself. I choose Grana Padano, less expensive than Parmigiano Reggiano but with fantastic flavour.
You can use other herbs such as dill, parsley or chives or finely sliced spring onions/scallions.
As the cheeses are quite salty, we do not add any additional salt.