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Borekas

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I love all manner of Middle-Eastern savory pastries. We were invited to a party, and I decided to make Israeli-style borekas. They're similar to spanakopita, the greek cheese triangles, but use puff pastry instead of filo dough. The fillings are usually cheese, or potato, or mixtures of vegetables and herbs with cheeses. Kind of a mixture of Middle-Eastern and European, like much of Israeli food. Here's my version:

Spinach and Cheese Borekas

1 box frozen puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm, which gives you two sheets per package)

1 box chopped frozen spinach
1 Tbs. olive oil or butter
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2 scallions
1/2 cup crumbled mild feta
1/2 cup ricotta or more
handful chopped parsley
handful chopped dill
2 eggs
Optional but traditional--sesame seeds

Take the pastry from the box, separate into two folded leaves, and let defrost for 1/2 an hour. While it's defrosting, make the filling.

Unwrap the spinach, and put into a colander. Run lukewarm water over the spinach until it's defrosted. Squeeze several times to get the spinach as dry as possible.

In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter. Saute the onion until it's softened and just beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and scallions, and cook another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach, mix well, and let the mixture cool.

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Beat one of the eggs in a bowl. Add the cheeses, the cooled spinach mixture, and the herbs. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. You want it highly seasoned.You can add more ricotta if you think the feta is too strong.

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Unroll one of the pastry sheets onto a floured board. With a rolling pin, gently roll to flatten and enlarge the pastry slightly. Cut into 9 squares. For large borekas, place a teaspoon of filling just off center, and fold over to make a triangle shape. Seal the edges with your fingers, and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (you'll need to do this in two batches or use 2 sheets) For bite-size borekas, (Mich more fiddly to fill, be warned) cut each square into 2 triangles. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of filling , fold, and seal. (It's helpful to seal one side, then push the filling over to seal the other, adding more if necessary)

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Beat the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the top of each borek with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. These reheat well, and can be frozen.


Leftover filling can be made into a quiche filling or crustless casserole with a few more eggs beaten in.

Comments (3)

LisaF:

This looks yummy!

Terry (teaberry):

Amy, these are beautiful.

YUM - isn't it funny how similar the foods of the Mediterranean countries are even when the people would hi-light all of the differences!

I'm one of those odd folks who would far rather work with puff pastry than fillo . . . one of these days I'm going to have to give these a try.

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