Squash and Feta Filo Parcels

One of our favourite things to serve for our Garden Open café lunches, filled with squash, courgettes, spinach, chard, grated beetroot, fennel, or a mixture of veg. You can make these in batches and freeze them: they are safe cooked straight from the freezer, so you can get one or two out whenever you want an almost instant supper

For 8 parcels for 8 people

  • 1 butternut squash (about 1.3kg)
  • Cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb (about 200g), finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 8 sage leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed from stalks and finely chopped
  • 200g feta or soft goats’ cheese, crumbled
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and then cut the flesh into 2cm chunks (you don’t need to peel butternut squash). Place the chunks on a baking tray and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oil, the fennel seeds, and some salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and golden at the edges.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, fry the onion and fennel in another tablespoon of oil until the onion is translucent and the fennel softened. Add the garlic, chilli and sage and cook for 3 minutes or so. Remove from the heat.

Put the roasted squash in a bowl and lightly mash with a fork, keeping it chunky. Add the onion mix, along with crème fraîche, parsley and crumbled cheese. Combine and taste for seasoning.

Lay out a sheet of filo pastry. Brush lightly with oil. Add another layer and brush with oil. Repeat once more, so that you have three oiled layers of filo. Cut the pastry into four squares.

Put a rounded tablespoon of squash mix into the centre of each pastry square, then form into a bundle, bringing the corners together and sealing firmly just above the mix. Place on a lined baking tray and brush with a little more oil. Repeat the last couple of steps, using the remaining pastry and filling.

Bake the filo parcels for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve very simply with a salad on the side.

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