Recipe: Phyllo Swirls with Feta
Feta and phyllo are a perfect pair! These easy phyllo pinwheels are stuffed with a delicious feta filling accented with a hint of thyme.
8 oz (225g) phyllo dough, defrosted if frozen
12 oz (340g) Greek Feta cheese
5 oz (140g) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (or Greek Kasseri)
4 large eggs
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
freshly cracked pepper
melted butter, for brushing (or a combination of butter and olive oil)
Take the defrosted phyllo out of the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for 1 hour to come to room temperature.
Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together (except for the butter) in the order given above. Break up the Feta cheese with the back of a fork as you incorporate everything. Set the filling aside.
Carefully unroll the phyllo, which measures 12”x18”, place it on a clean surface, and divide it in half (roll up the second half, wrap well and place it back in the refrigerator for another use). Set the stack of the phyllo you are going to use with its largest side (18”) facing you. With a sharp knife divide the stack in half so you have two 12”x 9” stacks of phyllo. Place one stack on top of the other and cover lightly with a towel as you work.
Working with one sheet of phyllo at a time, place its longest side in front of you (see photos). Brush with some melted butter and top with a second sheet of phyllo. Brush the second sheet with some more butter and repeat with four more layers of phyllo. Once you have a stack of 6 layers--without buttering the top layer--spread half of the filling evenly over it (see photo). Gently and tightly roll the whole stack of phyllo, enclosing the filling inside.
Repeat with the rest of the phyllo and the rest of the filling. Cover the filo logs tightly with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer (you can do this the day before and bake the next day).
Take the logs out of the refrigerator and leave them on the countertop for 30-60 minutes or until you can cut through them.
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). When they logs are pliable enough to slice, and using a serrated knife, cut the logs about 1” thick. Lay the slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or, until the phyllo is crisp and lightly browned. At that point, if you wish, you can also place the baking sheet briefly under the broiler to crisp up the tops of the phyllo swirls.
Remove the logs from the oven and let them cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with a nice green salad.