Fatayer Bi Sabanikh (Spinach Turnovers) and Sfiha (Meat Pies) | CUESA

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market »

Sat 8am–2pm | Tue & Thu 10am–2pm | SF

Jack London Square Farmers Market »

Sun 10am–3pm | Oakland

Mission Community Market »

Thu 4pm–8pm | SF

Fatayer Bi Sabanikh (Spinach Turnovers) and Sfiha (Meat Pies)

Source:

Reem Assil, Reem’s

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on January 16, 2016.

Fatayer Bi Sabanikh (Spinach Turnovers)

Makes 20-24 individual pies

INGREDIENTS

Basic Pie Dough
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (90-95°F)
3 cups bread flour (or substitute all-purpose flour), plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Spinach Filling
1½ pounds fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1½ teaspoons salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons ground sumac
Juice of 1 lemon
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or allspice
½ cup toasted pine nuts or toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Variations: Switch out the spinach for other greens such as purslane, chard, or lamb’s quarters, or cheese. Add some citrus zest to brighten the flavor, or add some finely chopped tomatoes.

PREPARATION

To make the dough: In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and ½ cup of the warm water and set aside to proof for 10 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix in the oil. Make sure to incorporate all the oil into the dough with your hands.

When the yeast has proofed, add the yeast mixture a little at t time to the flour mixture. Add just enough water from the remaining ½ cup so the dough holds together in a ball. Knead the dough vigorously with your hands in a bowl or on a flat surface for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1½ hours at room temperature, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Punch the dough down and divide it into 4-6 pieces for easier handling. Form each piece into a smooth round. Keeping the other pieces covered with plastic to prevent them from drying out, roll out each round on a lightly floured surface to ⅛-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Keep turning the dough over and dusting underneath with flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Cut the sheet of dough into 3-3½ inch circles. Reserve the scrap dough pieces and set them aside to rest before rolling them out again.

To make the filling: Add the salt to the spinach and gently rub the spinach leaves together to draw out the water. Drain the spinach in a colander for as long as you can. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices and nuts, if using. Combine the seasoning mix with the drained spinach. Mix well with your hands and squeeze out any excess liquid.

To make the pies: Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of each pastry round. Shape into a 3-sided pyramid, a square or star, or a mini pizza. To form a pyramid, lift up the dough in 3 pieces with both hands and pinch them together over the filling. To form a star or square, pinch the edges of the dough together to form thin ridged joints (like an open faced tart). To form mini pizzas, press the filling down a little. Brush the pie dough with olive oil. Bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet until golden.

Note: The pies keep well in the freezer for up to a few months, either unbaked or baked. They are best served warm, so if you store them baked, warm them in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sfiha (Meat Pies)

Makes 20-24 individual pies

INGREDIENTS

Basic Pie Dough
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (90-95°F)
3 cups bread flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Meat Filling
1 medium sweet onion
¾ pound coarsely ground lamb (or substitute beef, 80% lean)
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

Variations: Omit the pomegranate syrup and yogurt and add 3-4 medium diced tomatoes and fresh diced parsley. For Aleppo-style meat pies, substitute tahini for the yogurt and garnish with pomegranate arils.

PREPARATION

To make the dough: Follow the directions given above for the spinach pie dough.

To make the filling: Chop the onion very finely, either by hand or by quartering it and pulsing in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with the onions and all the remaining ingredients, and knead to create a dough-like consistency.

To make the pies: Follow the directions given above for the spinach pies, substituting the meat filling for the spinach filling.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »