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Bastilla of Kumara, Olives & Goats cheese

Makes 20
PREP 45mins
COOK 45mins


700g kumara, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1/4 cup extra to brush
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground white pepper
1/2 cup (75g) pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), toasted
1/2 cup (60g) pitted black olives, roughly chopped
1/4 bunch coriander, finely chopped, plus sprigs to serve
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon
100g firm goat’s cheese, crumbled
20 sheets filo pastry
sumac, to dust

tahini yoghurt
3/4 cup (200g) natural yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2 Place kumara on one prepared tray. Scatter over garlic and thyme, drizzle over olive oil and season with sea salt, cumin and white pepper. Bake for 35 mins, until tender. Roughly mash kumara mixture. Stir in pepitas, olive, coriander, chilli, lemon rind and goat’s cheese.

Brush 4 filo sheets with extra oil and layer to form a stack. Cut filo stack in half lengthways, then in half crossways to make four rectangles. Place a heaped tablespoon of kumara mixture in centre of each filo rectangle and fold long sides over filling to enclose (A). Fold one short end under parcel and fold other short end over parcel (B). Flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining filo sheets, extra oil and kumara mixture. Place filo parcels on remaining prepared tray. Brush with oil and bake, turning once, for 10 mins, until crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, to make tahini yoghurt, mix together yoghurt, tahini, rind and juice, and salt. Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.

Arrange bastilla and tahini yoghurt on a serving platter. Top with coriander sprigs, dust with sumac and serve.


Gary's secrets

• Traditional bastilla is a large flat Moroccan pie. I love these little filo parcels because it’s so easy to vary the filling. Try spicy mince; fetta, onion and spinach; or even crushed potato with a pinch of ground cumin and salt, and a little fresh coriander. • Instead of baking the bastilla, you can fry them gently in olive oil until golden on all sides, then pop them into the oven for 3-4 minutes.

•  To make perfect little pies, line small ramekins with filo stacks and fill with kumara mixture. Enclose and bake until golden.

•  You can make the bastilla in advance and freeze them for up to two months..

•  Filo pastry dries out easily, so protect the sheets you’re not working with by covering with a clean tea towel, then a damp tea towel. Brushing the sheets with oil ensures a flaky result.

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