Spinach and mushroom gozleme

In Australia, a classic food that is sold at almost every open air market is gozleme (pronounced goz-le-may).  The first time I tried one I could not figure out why this amazing food has somehow not made it to America.  It’s a traditionally Turkish dish and is basically a flatbread that can be filled with a variety of delightful stuff – my version is vegetarian, but many versions at markets have minced meat.  The traditional ones are filled with a mixture of meat and cheese or spinach and cheese (typically feta).  When I found this recipe I knew I had to give it a try for myself.  It’s by no means the healthiest vegetarian dish I’ve ever made, but my version definitely uses less oil than the ones you would find at a market.  The dough is super easy to make and creates a perfect, almost pillowy, contrast to the savoury filling.

I made these for the first time for an appetizer at a dinner party and then promptly made them again at my next one because they are just so delicious.  They are more party food than leftovers food since they are best when served hot.  There is a little bit of prep time involved for sure, but once they are assembled, you can sit them on a plate or put in the fridge until your guests come over and then basically cook them to order.  I would strongly encourage my American friends to get on the gozleme train – they are quite adaptable and incredibly delicious.  In my opinion, they are so much better than something like hot dogs or soft pretzels!

Spinach and mushroom gozleme (adapted from Around le Globe)

Ingredients

200 g plain or Greek yoghurt + 2 tbsp more if the dough is dry
Pinch of salt
200-250 g plain flour (this is about 1.5 to 2 cups)
3 tsp baking powder
+ olive oil for cooking

100 g baby spinach, chopped into small pieces (I just used a small bag)
150 g feta or parmesan cheese, crumbled or grated (I like parmesan more so have used that, but I’m sure feta would work well)
50 g mushrooms, chopped finely
100 g onions, chopped finely
1/2 tsp of garlic, minced
Olive oil for the pan

For the dough, pour yoghurt into a medium sized bowl, along with the salt. Sift flour into the dough. Add baking powder if you are not using self-raising flour.  Just combine it all until you have a fairly stiff dough. Knead the dough, until smooth and soft, and slightly sticky. Transfer to a clean bowl, greased with some olive oil and covered with cling wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the filling. Spray a pan with non-stick spray or grease with a little olive oil, and cook the onions with the garlic until slightly brown, and then add mushrooms and spinach. Once you add the spinach, only cook it for a minute longer as spinach wilts quite fast.  Let the mixture cool, or pop it the fridge for a bit.

When you’re ready to assemble, sprinkle a cutting board or other flat surface with flour. Divide the rested dough into 4 equal sized portions. Roll each piece of dough into a circle. Roll out thinly, but not too thin.  Place some of the mixture on one half of the circle, then sprinkle cheese over it.  Fold the dough over, and seal the edges with a fork. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Then, you are ready to cook!  Heat a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil – I actually didn’t use non-stick spray here because I didn’t want it to blacken or stick to the pan.  Place the gozleme in the pan and cook until the base is golden (use a spatula to lift it up a bit and check – it should take a couple minutes per side but watch it carefully!).  Once golden, flip it over.  When they’re done, let them cool on a plate for a bit and for my gathering I cut them up into bite sized pieces.  You can serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over them, which tastes great.

IMG_6508The dough

IMG_6511Fillings: spinach and mushroom on the left and grated parmesan cheese on the right

IMG_6512Separating the dough out and starting the filling process

IMG_6582Of course I filled them up a bit too much – try to avoid that, otherwise they won’t fold over and close properly

IMG_6514Cooking them in the pan with some olive oil

IMG_6585Flip them over when they are nice and browned on one side

IMG_6587Cut into bite size pieces

These are utterly delicious and one of the best savoury appetizers I’ve made in quite a while.  They are a perfect party treat because they can be prepared a bit ahead of time and then you just cook them in two minutes when your guests arrive or right before they do.  The combination of the soft dough and the filling is quite addictive and I could definitely tear through a plate of these all on my own.  Give this a try for your next gathering and get ready for the compliments!

One year ago: Snickerdoodle cherry muffins

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