Lebanon Recipes – Spinach Triangles (Fatayer Bil-Sbanegh)

Spinach Triangles - Fatayer

               By Anissa Helou

This pie is my take on the traditional Fatayer Bil-Sbanegh, individual triangles filled with the same filling as below and baked. It is much quicker to make one large pie, to cut in slices, instead of individual triangles and the taste is the same. You can vary on the filling below by using purslane (leaves only), sorrel, Swiss chard, dandelion or wild thyme. Whichever greens you choose, the quantities and instructions will be the same as below.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • For the dough
  • 300 g organic plain flour, plus extra for kneading and shaping
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin oil
For the filling:
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sumac
  • 400 g spinach, cut in very thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil to the well and with the tip of your fingers, work into the flour until well incorporated.
  2. Gradually add 125 ml warm water and mix until you have a rough dough. Remove the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then roll into a ball. Invert the
  3. bowl over the dough and let sit for 15 minutes. Knead for a few more minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide in two equal pieces. Shape into balls. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let rest while you make the filling.
  4. Put the chopped onion in a small mixing bowl. Add a little salt, the pepper and sumac and, with your fingers, rub the seasonings into the onion to soften it.
  5. Put the chopped spinach in a mixing bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and rub the salt in with your fingers until the spinach is wilted. Squeeze the spinach very dry. Transfer to a clean mixing bowl. Separate the leaves.
  6. Add the onion to the spinach, together with the pine nuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary — the filling should be quite strongly flavoured to offset the rather bland dough.
  7. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  9. Roll out one ball of dough as thinly as you can, just under 1/10 inch thin. With a pastry cutter, cut out 3 inch disks. Place 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons filling in the middle of each disk. Lift 2 sides of the disk, each about one third of the diametre,s and pinch together to start forming a triangle. Lift the bottom third and pinch with the loose ends to form an inverted Y.
  10. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and brush the triangles with oil. Knead the cut-outs together and let rest while you roll out the other ball of dough and make more triangles.
  11. Transfer to the baking sheet and brush with oil. Use the cut-outs to make the remaining triangles. Brush with oil.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.