These pastries are also popularly known as ‘cigars’, and are nearly always included as part of a Middle Easter mezze spread. You can make them with filo pastry, but we find spring roll wrappers work very well and hold up
better to deep-frying. We include tarragon in the filling, which adds a lovely aniseed note that goes well with the goat’s cheese. Feel free to experiment with your own choice of soft cheese and fresh herbs.
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You Will Need
Combine the cheese, onion, herbs, lemon zest and one of the eggs in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper and mash thoroughly with a fork.
When ready to assemble, mix the cornflour and water together to
make a paste.
Work with one spring roll wrapper at a time, placing it on the work
surface so that there is a corner pointing towards you (rather than a
flat edge). Place a spoonful of filling across the corner closest to you, about a quarter of the way in. Roll this corner up and over the filling, and then for another couple of turns. Bring the two side corners in so they meet in the centre, then continue rolling, like a cigar. Brush the remaining corner with cornflour paste to seal. Repeat until all the filling and wrappers have been used. You’re aiming to achieve neat fingers, around 13–14 cm (5–5 ½ in) long and about 1.5 cm ( ¾ in) thick.
To cook the pastries, pour vegetable oil into a medium, heavy based
saucepan to a depth of about 6 cm (2 ½ in) and heat to 190 0C
(375 0F)*. Fry the pastries, a few at a time, for 2–3 minutes, or until
they turn golden brown. Turn them around in the oil to ensure
they colour evenly all over. Drain them on kitchen paper and serve
*Note: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the oil will have
reached the correct temperature when it is shimmering, and when
a cube of bread sizzles up to the surface and turns a pale golden
brown in about 20 seconds.