Preserved lemon, feta and Zaatar Twists

This recipe is taken from Ryan Riley & Kimberley Duke’s cookbook, Taste & Flavour, which is an amazing resource (free to download). It’s compiled by Life Kitchen – a cook school originally set-up for people with cancer, whose ability to taste has been affected by their treatment. The school was well-placed to help during the Covid pandemic when people suffered loss of taste as a side effect.

The theory is to use five elements – aroma, umami, texture, layering, and trigeminal food sensations (the tingling, burning and cooling we get from spices) – to help people to enjoy food again.


1 X 320g sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
100g Odysea Greek feta, crumbled
2 teaspoons chilli paste
1 teaspoon Aleppo Chilli Flakes (or Black Urfa Chilli or House Blend)
2 Odysea preserved lemons, blitzed or finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons za’atar, plus extra to finish

For the dip:
3 tablespoons full-fat natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon chilli paste


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Unroll your pastry on to a baking tray, leaving the baking paper it’s
wrapped in underneath. With a longest edge closest to you, use
a sharp knife to slice the pastry sheet in half top to bottom.

In a bowl whisk together the feta, crème fraîche, chilli paste, chilli
flakes and blitzed preserved lemons until combined. Spoon the
mixture on to one of the cut pastry sheets and spread it out evenly
using the back of the spoon. Place the other half of the pastry on top,
and cut the pastry sandwich, top to bottom, into approximately
2.5cm (1in) strips to give 4–6 strips altogether.

Holding both the top and bottom of each filled pastry strip, turn one
end a couple of times, until you get the signature twist. Return each
twisted strip to the lined baking tray.

Combine the beaten egg and the za’atar in a bowl to create a wash.
Brush the strips with the wash, then bake for 25–30 minutes, until
crisp and golden brown.

While the twists are baking, make the dip by simply mixing together
the yoghurt and chilli paste in a bowl.

Remove the twists from the oven, then finish with an extra dusting
of za’atar. Serve with the dip alongside

Taste & Flavour
 by Ryan Riley & Kimberley Duke
Photography: Craig Robertson

spices used

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