These green pockets are a sort of homage to our own children when they were all much younger. As friends who have been in each other’s lives for a long time, we remembered when we all used to go to the markets on Sunday mornings and the kids would get gözleme. We would marvel at how they didn’t notice the greens in their favourite snack when there was also cheese and fried dough going on.
We both started making this very simple version at home. Greens, cheese and the dough come together to make a quick and very satisfying lunch or dinner. This yoghurt dough is particularly lovely to make – it’s very soft and you don’t need to wait around for it to rest. This was the stuff the kids loved making when they were small. Sure, there was flour everywhere, but whatever, they had fun and seemed to always love dinner more if their little fingers had made their mark.
Now they are all big, and this is still a meal they request and help make. Best of all, as they approach young adulthood, they will have this recipe up their sleeve and will be going into the world with more than spag bol or two-minute noodles in their repertoire!
- 2 cups (100g) very thinly sliced green leaves – English or baby spinach leaves, silverbeet leaves, kale leaves, rocket
- ⅓ cup (10g) finely chopped soft herbs – mint, dill, parsley
- 200g cheese – ricotta, crumbled feta, grated haloumi, grated mozzarella
- ⅔ cup (70g) grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100ml olive oil
- Lemon wedges, to serve
Spiced onion (optional)
- ½ small onion, very finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as oregano, mint or basil
Simple yoghurt dough
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup (250g) Greek-style yoghurt
- 2½ cups (375g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Combine the greens and herbs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cheeses and salt. You can leave the mixture here and it will be yummy and family friendly, but if you want to take it up a notch, it’s worth the extra 5 minutes to make the spiced onion; simply combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
To make the yoghurt dough, combine the oil, vinegar and yoghurt in a bowl and mix well. Sift in the flour and bicarb soda and mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients come together to form a dough. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until very smooth. Divide the dough into eight balls and place under a damp tea towel. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll the dough into 15cm circles.
To assemble, spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over half of each dough circle (or use Greek pita bread; the thicker, doughy sort) and scatter 2-3 teaspoons of the spiced onion mixture (if using) on top. Add ½ cup of the greens and herb mixture, then fold the dough over to make a semicircle. If using homemade dough, pinch the edges to seal. If using pita, wet your hands and dampen the outside of each pocket and seal as best as you can.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, pan-fry the pockets for 2-3 minutes each side, until golden brown. You can also brush each pocket with olive oil and grill them on the barbecue. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a salad if you can be bothered, but there’s so many greens inside you hardly need to.
Other combinations we like include kale, parsley, feta and chilli flakes; rocket, mint, haloumi and lemon zest or chopped preserved lemon rind; and baby spinach, basil, mozzarella and parmesan.
Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards are from Cornersmith – a cafe, cooking school and picklery located in Sydney. Their cookbook Use It All is out now.
This recipe was originally published in Edition #642.
Photo by Cath Muscat.