On Christmas day as I cook the meal of all meals, and before I sit around the table with family and friends, I like to spend a little time in contemplation on Lord Jesus, offering for him to enjoy the feast before we do. I often think at Christmas time that it would be nice to be sharing the sort of food that Christ might have eaten, with the rich Middle Eastern flavours of his area. So here’s a recipe with Middle Eastern type flavouring to share with your friends and family at Christmas. It’s vegetarian and delicious!
1 kg pumpkin peeled and cubed
2-3 Tbsp harissa
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
50 g pine nuts
500 g baby spinach leaves
1 garlic clove
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
200 g mild feta, diced
125 g ricotta
¼ cup cream
6 – 8 sheets filo pastry
50 g melted butter
1 Tbsp poppy seeds.
Roast the pumpkin tossed in the olive oil, spices and seasoning for about 15 – 20 minutes, until tender.
Wilt the spinach by pouring boiling water over it. Drain and process to a thick puree with the ricotta, nutmeg, garlic and half the feta. Season and dice, then add the remaining feta cheese.
Brush the sides and base of a 20 cm loose bottomed cake tin with a little butter. Brush each sheet of filo with butter and line the tin with them leaving about 10cm overhand at the edges.
Add a layer of pumpkin, then cover with half the spinach mixture, and repeat the layers.
Fold the filo flaps over the pie, brush with butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds
Place on a baking tray and bake at 170 degrees C for 45 minutes or until golden brown and firm.
Recipe adapted from yamasdairy.com
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training