Here’s a confession: I usually avoid buying silverbeet because I always seem to find a spider or two lurking among the leaves ((shudder)). But when I discovered locally made filo pastry sheets in both THICK and thin varieties I decided to make like Bear Grylls and buy some silverbeet. I had only been accustomed to thin sheets in the shops.
I found the ‘Delphic’ brand of thick filo sheets (made in Brunswick, Melbourne) at a couple of IGA supermarkets. (Note: Delphic haven’t paid me to mention them, nobody sponsor’s this blog, I’m just adding links in case you’re interested in finding the product yourself). If you enjoy ‘Cheese and Spinach’ filo pastries or triangles, I’m certain you’ll love these filo’s which use silverbeet instead of spinach, leeks instead of onions & quark instead of cottage or fetta cheese. Actually there’s a little bit of light/tasty cheese in there too.
I grew up with quark (a continental-type cottage cheese) as a staple in my home, having Eastern European origins. My late Mother would make her own filo which was better than anything you can get in a packet or box – And I really mean that! She’d stretch the dough over our round kitchen table and it would hang over the edges like a table cloth. It’d be so thin it was practically transparant. The trick was not to get any holes in the pastry. Once upon a time you could find quark quite easily in supermarkets, marketed as “Continental Cottage Cheese” from memory. I remember it came in blocks, similar to the shape of blocks of butter. Quark is more solid in texture than cottage cheese (& more bold in flavour) and can be used in savoury & sweet dishes. Cheese based strudels often use quark & sometimes it’s made into sweet fillings for cakes too. I personally wouldn’t spread it on toast or crackers like I would cottage cheese, but instead, use it for cooking.. where it really comes into its own. And on a final note, it’s quite nutritious, full of vitamins, minerals & protein.
P.S. The beauty of thick filo sheets if you can find them is that you only need one sheet for each prepared filo! No layering and spraying or brushing with oil or butter over and over. If you can’t find thick filo anywhere, of course thin filo can be substituted but I’d use two or three sheets per individual filo instead of one. Quark is usually found in gourmet deli’s and grocers in the dairy section.
In my own personal foodie news… recently I found another good place to eat in Geelong! We ate at The Lord Nelson, a local ‘iconic’ pub which has been refurbished etc. We were delighted with our meals, the excellent service and the cosy surrounds (I asked if we could be seated in one of the carpeted rooms). On the night we ate chicken breast with creamy sage sauce, roast potatoes and broccolini, pork ribs and eye fillet steak with baked potato. All hearty portions and all very good. The Lord Nelson doesn’t offer the cheapest pub fare in town with their parmy setting you back $28 and meals averaging $35-40… but we just couldn’t complain about a single thing & we saved $31 off our total bill because of our 25% off Entertainment book coupon. Would definitely go back again. We also recently ate at No.35 restaurant at Sofitel on Collins too, 35 floors up -views and all of that…. must write more about that another time!
I removed the stalks from each leaf before chopping them up.
Mess on the left = Me dropping the silverbeet when it hit the pan & splattered and popped like crazy (which frightened me). I forgot that water droplets in hot oil do that! Pic on right is the cooked leek and seasoned silverbeet cooling on a dinner plate.