The greens give a nice touch to the flavour of the classic cottage cheese banitsa with feta.
- filo pastry
- 500 g cottage cheese
- 120 g yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 big leek or 2 smaller ones
- feta cheese
- 250-300 g mangel
- Himalayan salt
- olive oil
*Yogurt for the final spread.
The recipe is made for a banitsa that's baked in a 25-30 x 20 cm tray.
I use a glass tray.
Sauté the leek for a few minutes,that you have sliced into thin rings, on medium heat on a little bit of olive oil and a splash of water. I mostly used only the white part of the leek.
When it has softened and got some colour add the mangel, washed,cleaned and sliced into bigger pieces.
Let it soften on medium heat and then turn it off. Season with a tiny bit of salt.
Transfer the mangel and leek in a separate bowl to cool.
Stir the cottage cheese with salt, an egg, yogurt and some feta cheese. You decide how much feta you will use, but don't go overboard with it and pay attention on how much salt do you use for seasoning.
I used a handful of feta cheese cut into cubes.
Crush all together with a fork and stir in the veggies, too.
Smear the bottom and sides of the baking tray with olive oil, using a brush.
Lay 2 layers of the filo pastry on top, smear some olive oil again and then place 2 more layers. I actually used only 2 pieces of filo, but I folded each into half, so I basically got 4 layers for my tray.
Cover the layers with half of the cottage cheese mixture.
Use 2 pieces of the filo pastry again, tear it into small pieces and cover the cottage cheese layer completely. Drizzle some olive oil on top, and press the filo into the cottage cheese a bit with your hands.
Place 1 piece ( 2 layers) of filo pastry on top, smear it with olive oil and then place the remaining cottage cheese mix on top.
Do the same procedure one more time.
The last flat filo pastry layer should be slightly drizzled with olive oil and spreaded evenly, then cover the top completely with yogurt. Do not go overboard with it, use just as much so you don't see the filo layer anymore.
Cut the banitsa in 12 equal pieces before baking on 180C degrees for about 40-45 minutes, depending on the oven.
Once done, leave it to cool for a bit and serve.
It is also great the next day, cold.