Welcome, noble stranger, your presence honors one of the most esteemed souks in Arabia! Inhale these incomparable incenses and perfumes, marvel at the fi ne quality of these fabrics! What was that? You seek something even more precious? Some sort of remarkable lamp? I recognized you, O Great Wizard! Let me fi nd it for you! I insist! And while you wait, sit and enjoy the best cigars of the souk, the pride of our lands!
- Yield: 20 cigars
- Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 35 Minutes
- 2¼ lb spinach, fresh if possible
- 3½ oz sheep’s milk cheese (such as feta)
- Salt and pepper
- 10 sheets phyllo dough
- 8 fl oz (1 cup) milk
- 1 small cup olive oil
- 1¾ oz sesame seeds 1 small tub plain yogurt
- 1 squeeze lemon juice
- Rinse the spinach thoroughly to rid it of any dust from the souk (remove the larger stems if necessary), then simmer for 20 minutes in salted water. Using a slotted spoon take it out and drop it straight into a large bowl of iced water— that will wake it up!
- Drain and chop the spinach, crumble in the cheese, and mix. Above all, Noble Friend, do not forget to season with salt and pepper.
- Next, brush a sheet of phyllo dough with milk using a kitchen brush (yes, a brush, even if the carpet insists that you use its tassels).
- The next step demands the dexterity of 40 thieves: place a spoonful of mixture 3/4 inch from the bottom of the sheet of phyllo, leaving the necessary space on each side. Fold the pastry over the fi lling, brush with milk, then fold the sides inward: Ta-da! You have a rectangle!
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll the fi lled part toward the top, remembering to brush the pastry with milk with each turn. Finish all the cigars. What was that? Distracted by the marvels of the souk, you forgot to preheat the oven? Is that a formal wish? It is? In that case, consider it done: here, before you, O my Master, is a perfectly prepared oven. All you have to do now is slide the cigars, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with delicious sesame seeds, into the oven and wait for about 35 minutes. Be patient, your cigars will be golden and crisp! Enjoy them with yogurt enhanced with a squeeze of lemon juice. Good, no?