Savoury pastries

Savoury pastries

By
Greg Malouf, Lucy Malouf
Contains
6 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708423
Photographer
Alan Benson

As with their sweet cousins, you can find endless varieties of savoury pies and pastries all around the Middle East, across the Mediterranean and over to North Africa and Moorish Spain. Their birthplace and the route they travelled have been somewhat blurred by the mists of time, but it’s generally understood that they were spread, first by the Arabs and then the Persians and Ottoman Turks to all corners of the Islamic Empire. Similarities in name can be found in countries that are thousands of miles apart (Persian sanbuseh becomes sambusek in Lebanon and samosa in India, for instance), while sometimes, confusingly, the same name is given to a completely different kind of pie. Many of these crunchy little morsels play a hugely popular part on the mezze table, while others are enjoyed as snacks, and larger pies, such as the legendary Moroccan bisteeya, are much more substantial.

The range of shape, size and fillings for savoury pastries is endless. Some are made from crisp, tissue-thin filo, others from flaky kinds of puff pastry, and others still from denser yeast doughs. Some pastries are baked; others are shallow- or deep-fried. Little triangles, half-moons or fingers are some of the more common shapes you’ll encounter, but you’ll also come across rectangular parcels and some raised pies. And, you’ll also find great coiled pastry ‘snakes’ that are cut into slices. The pastries can be filled with meat or seafood, but most commonly they are stuffed with a combination of vegetables and cheese – think of lemony spinach, pimento-spiced pumpkin or melting eggplant, with any one of myriad different white cheeses that melt to gooey goodness on cooking.

The savoury pastries in this section are slight twists on traditional favourites. The larger pies can be served as a more substantial part of a main meal, while the little crunchy morsels can be enjoyed as snacks, served as pre-dinner nibbles or can play a key role on a mezze table.

Recipes in this Chapter

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