Fatayer Bi Sabanekh (Lebanese Spinach Turnovers) Recipe

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Fatayer are little pies popular throughout the Middle East. They can have a variety of fillings, from meat to cheese or spinach. I made a version called Fatayer bi Sabanekh, Lebanese Fatayer filled with spinach. Spelling variations may include Fatayer bil Sabanegh, Fatayer be Sabanegh, or Fatayer Bes Sabanekh. Spinach is combined with onions and seasoned with sumac, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. It is lightly coated in a lemon and olive oil dressing before sealing inside circles of dough and baking until golden and flaky. Its small size makes Fatayer a perfect appetizer or light snack.

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes 50 Fatayer


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm (105-115 degrees F) water
3 cups all purpose or 00 flour
2 cups all purpose or pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup canola or olive oil

2 pounds spinach
4 medium onions (12 ounces)
1/4 cup sumac
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water. Let sit for a minute before stirring to combine. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, and salt. Gradually stir in the oil, then yeast with water until dough comes together. On a lightly greased surface, knead until smooth and elastic. Place in large bowl, cover, and let rest 1-2 hours.

If using fresh spinach, head a large pan over medium heat and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add spinach and cook just until wilted. Remove to colander. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out all excess moisture. For frozen spinach, defrost and squeeze out all excess moisture.

Finely chop the onions and place in medium bowl. Stir in the sumac, salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne. Let sit while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses, if using. Set aside.

Squeeze all excess moisture from the onions. Combine the onions and pine nuts with the spinach. Lightly coat with the dressing until just moistened, not wet.

Preheat panggangan to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.

Divide the dough in half, covering one half. On a large, oiled work surface, roll half the dough until thin, 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Use a 4 inch wide circle cutter to cut out the dough.

Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each circle. Pinch together 3 edges of the circle over the center of the filling. Seal down one side, then across the other to form pyramid shape. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining circles and other half of dough.

Bake in preheated panggangan until golden, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Adapted from Taste of Beirut

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