A great way to use up half-used vegetables is to wrap them in phyllo dough. Mama has made a spinach pie before, and she’s done many roulades (fancy talk for roll-ups). Tonight she made too much filling and decided to just lay it all out on sheets of phyllo then lay a few more sheets on top and seal it like a big phyllo pillow.
We had half-used packages of baby spinach, cremini mushrooms, leeks, and goat cheese, and three-quarters of a russet potato (don’t ask), which she grated. These she sautéed in olive oil with chopped garlic and salt and pepper, then set it aside to cool as we started our assembly.
Mama reminded me that, when using sheets of phyllo, it’s important to brush melted butter (or olive oil) thoroughly over each layer. You need at least 4 layers to give your finished product some strength. I helped Mama brush the phyllo and the counter with the butter. When the base was ready, Mama spread the filling over it, nearly to the edges. She repeated her 4 buttery layers of phyllo, brushing butter over the top and lightly dusting it with salt. She transferred the whole thing to a parchment-covered baking sheet (since she thought she was going to roll it up, she hadn’t thought to start on the baking sheet—learn from her mistake!), then baked it at 350°F for 20–30 minutes.
I had my obligatory no-thank-you bite, munched a bit more on the flaky phyllo, and moved on. But it was fun to make, and Mama and Papa ate the whole thing anyway.