Fatayer are little Lebanese hand pies, made with a yeasted dough. They are perfect as little appetisers, or as nibbles for a party. Usually they are filled with spinach or meat, but these oyster mushroom and walnut fatayers are our faves.
For the dough:
500g white flour
1 packet of dry yeast (about 1.5 tsp)
1.5 tsp of sugar
1.5 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of turmeric (optional, but it makes the dough a nice colour)
300ml of lukewarm water
For the walnut and mushroom filling
250g of oyster mushrooms - substitute for button if you prefer
3 cloves garlic
150g of walnuts
Few sprigs of parsley
2 tsp of pomegranate molasses (optional)
Prepare the dough by mixing the dry ingredients, then adding the oil and water.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until the dough comes together and is soft and elastic.
Set the dough aside in an oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel. The dough should be kept in a warm location to allow it to rise for about 30 minutes
Whilst the dough is doing it’s thing, toast the walnuts in a pan until they become golden brown and fragrant. Put the walnuts aside.
In the same pan, heat some olive oil and add in the torn mushrooms. Saute until cooked. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to season.
In a blender, pulse the walnuts with cooked mushroom mixture. Add some chopped parsley and pomegranate molasses if you are using them.
Once the dough has risen, roll it out onto a thin sheet, using flour to ensure it doesn’t stick to the work surface or your rolling pin.
Use a circle cutter or glass (I used a pint glass) to cut the dough into circles. Don’t waste the leftover dough, it is fine to recombine and use it all up.
To each circle, add a little of the mushroom and walnut mixture, about 1-2 tsp.
Fold the dough over on two sides, pinching the corners together. Then fold the third side over, so the fatayer is triangular. Its OK if the dough doesn’t cover the entire mixture.
Place the fatayers on baking sheets with baking paper, and brush the dough with a little oil or milk (I used oat milk).
Bake in a preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown. Depending on your oven, it should be about 12-15 mins.
Enjoy your fatayer. Any extra fatayer freeze well and can be reheated in the oven.
Other fatayer ideas:
If you don't fancy making the dough, you can use pre-made pizza dough to a similar effect.
Spinach fatayer is a classic. Simply chop onions and spinach, sprinkle with salt and sumac. Squeeze out any excess water before filling your pies to avoid a soggy bottom!
The spinach fatayer recipe can be adapted for any wild greens such as wild garlic, three cornered leek, nettles, dandelion, sea beet, or sorrel. As always forage responsibly and ensure you are certain with your identification before consuming.
Feta cheese is a good addition to any spinach or greens based fatayer.
The classic meat filling is ground beef or lamb cooked with onions, garlic and cumin. You could make this more sustainable by using venison mince if you have access to it.