This baked goodness is made with filo pastry and cheese served with green papaya, cucumber and radish salad. The cheese adds zing to the dish while the salad brings freshness. It is delicious and simple to make.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Rachel Khoo.
- 2sheets rectangular filo (depending on the size of your sheets)
- Leaves from 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 60 g butter (melted)
- 125g cheese (Combination of Mozzarella and Feta cheese, 62.5g of each)
- 4 tsp honey (lavender if possible)
- For the salad:
- ½ unripe green papaya
- 1 small cucumber (or half a cucumber)
- 1 small radish
- For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Unroll a sheet of filo horizontally on the work surface.
- Cut the filo sheet in half lengthways, and in half crossways to make 4 rectangles measuring approximately 15 x 20 cm.
- Repeat with the other sheet of filo to make 8 rectangles. Lay them all out on the work surface.
- Brush the rectangles generously with butter, ensuring that about 1 tbsp is saved to brush the tops.
- Sprinkles some thyme leaves along the long length of each pastry rectangle and fold it in about 2cm to encase it.
- Crumble a line of cheese in a line along the opposite short side of the pastry. Drizzle the honey just inside the cheese of each pastry.
- Starting at the cheese end, roll the pastry once over the cheese and carry on rolling all way to the thyme then seal and brush the top with butter.
- Repeat the process to make 4 cigars.
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush once more with the remaining butter.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- In the meantime, start preparing the salad. Scoop and discard the seeds out of the cucumber.
- Using a mandolin or flat y-shaped vegetable peeler to julienne the cucumber and papaya flesh.
- Slice the radishes thinly into rounds, place them all in a bowl.
- Once the cheese cigars bundles are cooked, toss your salad with the dressing and a season lightly and place on the centre of your plate. Serve the cigar perched on top.
- Only season your salad right before serving to prevent your salad from becoming soggy.
- Keep your filo pastry moist by covering it with damp cloth or with thin plastic wrap so that it is easier to work with.