Crisp Ricotta Rolls with Walnuts and Chives

Yield 6 Servings
3/4 cup (7oz) ricotta
1/3 cup (1 oz) walnut halves 
2 oz Emmenthaler cheese
freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
2 pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
4 pinches of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground peppter
6 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a bowl mash the ricotta with a fork.  Using a rotary grater fitted with the large-0holed disk, grate first the walnuts and then the Emmenthaler into the bowl containing the ricotta.  Alternatively, grate them in a food processor fitted with a shredding disk.  Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, chives and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.

Cut the filo sheets in half crosswise.  Place a half sheet on work surface, keeping the remaining sheets covered with a damp towel so they do not dry out.  On half of the sheet, spread on-twelfth of the cheese mixture in a rectangle about 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide, leaving the bottom edge and sides uncovered.  Fold the bottom edge over the mixture, then fold in the sides and roll up into a cylinder about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Repeat with the remaining sheets and cheese mixture.

Using a pastry brush, oil a baking sheet with some of the oil.  Arrange the rolls on the baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart.  Lightly brush the pastries with the remaining oil.  Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until golden and crisp, 18-20 minutes. Serve while still crisp, either hot or warm.