Our eyes rove the spread in the bain-marie of the Turkish stall in the food court at Melbourne Central, past the rank and files of felafels; across the dunes of dolmades and undulating cabbage rolls.
Fluorescent, psychedelic sirens of pickled vegetables persuade us.
The call of the chiffonades, cool cucumbers and chickpeas punctuated with kalamattas resounds clear.
But we have eyes only for these oval obelisks…
Or oblong boats…
Or potato pides…
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and roughly mashed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped mint
½ cup feta crumbled cheese
1 tsp crushed red chilli
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 egg – you can use the egg white and reserve the yolk to brush the pastry
2 tbs olive oil
Heat a pan and add the olive oil and butter. Add the sliced onions and sliced mushrooms and sauté for a minute. Add the garlic and sauté a little more. Now add the mashed potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Check and adjust the taste. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix the sugar and warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on the surface and a keep covered in a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in another bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the yeast water and break the egg into the flour. If you want to use only the white, then separate it first before mixing in the flour. Add the olive oil. Mix well and knead into a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Brush a bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl and lightly coat with oil. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film. Set aside in a warm place for about 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough back once and keep for some more time till it has risen again.
Divide the dough into equal 6 portions and roll each portion into an oval shape.
Spread the filling in an oval shape in the centre and sprinkle some grated mozzarella over it. Fold the sides halfway over the filling and pinch the ends together to get a boat shape as seen in the photo.
Place them on lightly greased cookie sheet and brush their tops with beaten egg yolk or milk.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Place baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.