Butternut Squash, Feta and Thyme Filo Parcels

filo parcels

I made these to take on a beach picnic to south Devon with my friend Nicola. I was all ready to write a post about how we optimistically set out for the beach, then it ended up raining and we spent the whole time shivering and scarfing down the picnic before rushing back to the warmth of the car.

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But actually, contrary to how British weather usually works, it was sunny and warm. I may have even got slightly sunburnt – given that the need to bring suncream didn’t even cross my mind. I experienced some much more disappointing beach weather than this when I was in Australia, which is surely the wrong way round. We spent the whole time gleefully whispering ‘It’s so warm’ – as if talking too loudly about the good weather might scare it away.

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So these Greek-inspired filo parcels were not as drastically ironic as I had feared. We ended up consuming about three each, plus five different types of cheese (the hazard of having a friend who works in a cheese shop). So it was fair to say that the post-picnic discussion about whether to go for a bracing cliff-top walk or to lie on the beach groaning didn’t last long.

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Makes approx. 10

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds scraped out, and chopped into small chunks

100g feta cheese

1 packet of filo pastry (about 10 sheets)

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp runny honey

100g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Scatter the chunks of butternut squash in a baking tray and pour in half a mugful of water and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, then drizzle over the honey and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until the butternut is starting to go golden at the edges. Put it in a bowl and mash, then crumble in the feta, add the thyme, and mix together.

Carefully separate the sheets of filo. Brush melted butter over the sheet, then fold in half lengthways to make a rectangle. Put about 2 teaspoons of mix at one end. Fold the parcels into triangle shapes: fold the bottom right corner to the left edge, then fold the left corner to the right edge, and repeat until you run out of pastry, brushing with melted butter as you go, then seal and brush the top with more melted butter.  Place on a (you guessed it) buttered baking tray, and bake for 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

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