Leeks are at their best in the winter, and when I saw some fresh and plump ones, I immediately grabbed a few. I used a couple of them to make leeks and potatoes patties (recipe can be found HERE), and with the rest I’ve decided to prepare a filo bake.After steaming the leeks, I mixed them with some yogurt, sour cream and cheeses, to use as a filling for the bake. The slight sweet, onion-like flavor of the leeks, mixed beautifully with the saltiness and acidity of the dairy ingredients. The filling was then wrapped with filo dough, and baked until golden-brown. Baked this way, the filo has two different textures: soft, almost pasta-like, in the base, and crispy on top – both add more layers of flavor to this rich bake.
This bake is prefect when served as part of a weekend brunch buffet, with crunchy vegetable salad and hard boiled eggs on the side. It can also be served as a light vegetarian meal any time. Try it and enjoy.
* Filo dough comes in different thicknesses, which are marked by numbers by the manufacturers. The lower the number, the thinner it is. Here I’ve used number 7, which stands for medium thickness. It is perfect for such bakes, and is easier to work with than with the thinner sheets.
* Kashkaval cheese is a type of sheep milk cheese that is typical to the Balkans. It has a rich flavor and a somewhat dry texture. If you can’t find it, use mild cheddar cheese instead.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
For the filling:
2 large leeks, roughly chopped and washed (see THIS post for cleaning tips)
½ stick (55 grams) butter
8 oz (225 grams) full fat thick yogurt
8 oz (225 grams) sour cream
4.5 oz (125 grams) feta cheese
4.5 oz (125 grams) Kashkaval cheese, grated (see notes)
1 tsp salt + to taste, according to the saltiness of the cheeses
½ tsp freshly grated four peppers mix
For the filo:
½ package (½ lbs/ 225 grams)) filo dough #7 (see notes)
1 stick (115 grams) butter, melted
2 Tbs olive oil
1. Place the prepared leeks in a large flat pot. Add ½ cup water and cover the pot. Let steam over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft and the water evaporated. Add the butter to the pot and let it melt. Mix well. Cool to room temperature.
2. Add the yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, salt and pepper and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
3. Preheat the oven to 360F (180C). Line a 9½” (24cm) deep cake pan with baking pepper. Lightly brush the bottom with some of the melted butter.
4. Place a filo sheet on a dry work space. Lightly brush with melted butter. Repeat with another layer of dough. Place 1/5 of the filling on the center, roll together to a log and place in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the filo and filling, placing the logs in the pan in a circle, side by side. Generously brush the top with all of the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake for about 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool a bit in the pan. Brush the top with the olive oil. Serve warm.