Cheap Chow: Mushroom & Feta Filo ‘Cigars’

Last night I was in a rush, I’d come home later than usual, was due out an hour later, had next to no food in the cupboards and was starving. I could’ve picked up take away, but for some reason I was compelled to cook – and with little to no food in the house, I knew I had to be creative.

This is a pretty regular occurrence in my kitchen, where I forget to go to the farmers market on Saturday and I haven’t picked up anything during the week and then suddenly, I’m home, exhausted, it’s raining and I just don’t want to go to the supermarket. So I improvise.


I had mushrooms, hard feta cheese and found some filo (phyllo) pastry in the back of my freezer. I also had the usual store cupboard essentials: butter, oil, eggs, salt, pepper, dried oregano, onions and garlic. I figured if I cooked all those ingredients together and wrapped them in the pastry, they were sure to taste good, right?


Well, turns out I cooked the entree for my next dinner party, my little filo pastry cigars were quite the success and I whipped them up in just over half an hour – from start time to get in my belly time. They’d be great with a chutney or sauce or with added fresh herbs, if you have any, but were just as satisfying on their own, which is exactly how I ate mine, as I rolled out the door, late as usual.

Mushroom & Feta Filo ‘Cigars’


  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 6 Swiss brown mushrooms (or whatever you can get hold of), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbs dried oregano leaves
  • 80 grams hard feta, crumbled
  • 1 egg, whisked lightly
  • Filo (phyllo) pastry
  • Olive Oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and splash in a tablespoon of olive oil and a fair knob of butter, melt
  3. Add the onion and cook until translucent
  4. Add the mushrooms, garlic and oregano and cook for a few minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked through, season with salt and pepper – turn off the heat
  5. In a bowl, whisk the egg and the crumbled feta together and add the mushroom mix, stir to combine
  6. Take a sheet of the filo pastry and brush it very lightly with olive oil (olive oil spray here is nifty), add another sheet of pastry and then brush again with oil. Repeat until you have four layers of pastry
  7. Spoon some of the mushroom mix along one edge of the pastry and roll to form a ‘cigar’
  8. Brush the top of the ‘cigar’ with oil and place in a baking dish
  9. Repeat until you’ve used all the mushroom mix
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven, or until golden