5 (2)

Appetizers, Vegetarian

Cheese-and-spinach phyllo rolls

Cheese-and-spinach phyllo rolls
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Nina Lamb may be partially responsible for some of the greatest rock music ever recorded. Her contribution? Cheese-and-spinach phyllo rolls. "The Doors would go into their studio to rehearse or record," Lamb says, "and they'd get hungry and they'd call ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour | Makes about 3 dozen pieces
  • 2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball mozzarella cheese, finely diced or grated
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, diced and softened, plus melted butter for brushing the sheets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 12 (17-inch by 13-inch) phyllo pastry sheets

Step 1In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, briefly cook the frozen spinach in a little boiling water, stirring just until thawed. Remove from heat and drain the spinach well, discarding the water. Return the spinach to the pan.

Step 2Stir in the mozzarella and Romano cheeses, along with the one-quarter cup butter to form the filling. Season to one-eighth teaspoon salt and a small pinch each pepper and cinnamon, or to taste. Mix the filling well; the warmth from the pan and spinach will melt the other ingredients slightly. This makes 3 cups filling.

Step 3Working quickly, brush 2 sheets phyllo with a light coating of melted butter, and place 1 sheet on top of the other. Place one-third cup filling along the length of the sheets, leaving 2 inches at either end. Turn in the ends and roll the filling into the sheets, as with a burrito; continue folding until a long roll is formed. Brush the roll lightly with melted butter and place on a baking sheet. Continue until all of the filling is used, spacing the rolls about 2 inches apart. This makes 6 rolls.

Step 4Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway for even coloring. Cool slightly, then cut each roll diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Serve warm.

Note: Phyllo pastry sheets come in various sizes; the size of the pastry sheets are given on the box. Phyllo dough tends to dry out quickly; keep the sheets covered with a slightly damp towel until ready to use. The rolls can be frozen prior to baking. Cover the rolls carefully with plastic wrap and foil, then uncover and bake the rolls frozen (increase the baking time by a few minutes to compensate).


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