Potato kibbeh stuffed with spinach, mozzarella and pine nuts

Potato kibbeh stuffed with spinach, mozzarella and pine nuts

By
From
Saha
Makes
16 Kibbeh
Photographer
Matt Harvey

These are glorified potato croquettes, and are often served as a mezze dish during religious festivals, when people reduce their meat consumption. All sorts of cheese or vegetable fillings work well – and you could also make a tasty stuffing of spiced meat and pine nuts.

Kibbeh shell

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600g floury potatoes, washed but not peeled
200g fine white burghul, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
35g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 bunch spinach leaves, stalks removed, blanched and chopped
80g pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and pepper
150g mozzarella, grated

Method

  1. To make the kibbeh shell, begin by bringing a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the potatoes for 15–20 minutes, until they are tender. Remove from the heat and when they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Next, drain the burghul and, using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can. Then tip into a tea towel and twist to extract even more. Tip the burghul into a large mixing bowl and add the potatoes. Mash the two together to form a smooth purée. Add the flour, spices, salt and pepper and knead with your hands until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, which will make the paste easier to work with.
  2. While the shell mixture is chilling in the fridge, prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the chopped spinach, pine nuts and allspice and stir over the heat for a few more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the grated cheese.
  3. To make the kibbeh, put a small lump of the potato paste into the palm of your left hand and roll it into a smooth, oval-shaped ball. Using the forefinger of your right hand, make an indentation in the ball and start to shape it into a hollow shell. Try to make it as thin and even as you can. Fill the shell with about a teaspoon of the filling, wet the edges of the opening with cold water and pinch it closed. You are aiming for a small torpedoshaped dumpling, with slightly tapered ends. Leave the stuffed kibbeh on a tray in the refrigerator, covered, until you are ready to cook them.
  4. When it comes to cooking the kibbeh, you have the choice of either baking them in a 190°C oven for about 20 minutes, or deep or shallow-frying them in 150 ml medium-hot vegetable oil, turning them to ensure that they’re a deep golden brown all over. Drain them on kitchen paper and serve piping hot with a dollop of yoghurt.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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