Summary: Borek is a Turkish pastry filed with variety of delicious fillings
Borek is a phyllo pastry filled with a variety of fillings such as feta cheese, spinach and minced meat that is enjoyed widely as appetizer in the Mediterranean cuisine. In Turkey, Borek is prepared with Yufka sheets – a phyllo dough pastry that is slightly thicker – which come in ready-to-warp triangle sheets or rectangle sheets. Filled with the desired fillings, they can be fried or baked.
Packed with layers of deliciousness, I would like to share this light version of baked Borek with some of my favorite herb combinations.
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 30 min.
Ready in: 45 min.
Yields: 28 Boreks
1 lb. Feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons light cream cheese
½ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped basil
¼ cup finely chopped mint
½ cup coarsely chopped walnut
Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons brewed saffron
1 package Yufka leaves (found in most ethnic stores)
Sesame seed for garnish
1- In the first mixing bowl, mix half of crumbled Feta cheese with 2 tablespoon of cream cheese and chopped parsley. Add Cayenne pepper or crushed pepper flakes to taste.
In another mixing bowl, put crumbled Feta cheese, the remaining cream cheese, chopped basil, chopped mint, chopped walnut and pepper together and mix well.
2- Beat the eggs and saffron in a shallow bowl. Lay a single leaf of Yufka on a flat surface, lightly brush the sheet with egg and saffron mix and put a dollop (a little over 1 tablespoon) of feta mix on it. The egg wash brushed inside the Borek makes the layers stand out by making them flakier. Leave about 1 inch on each side for easy folding. First bring the sides to the center and then fold the bottom. Roll just like a croissant.
3- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the bottom of each Borek and arrange them on the paper. Brush with egg and saffron wash. Then garnish with sesame seeds. I used a combination of sesame and poppy seeds for more contrast.
4- The Boreks can be fried in hot oil or baked in the oven. To opt for a healthy version, place the pan on the middle rack and bake at 350 F degrees in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. They taste best when served hot alone or with marinara sauce. The leftover Boreks can be microwaved for 15 seconds to retain the fresh flavor. Boreks are great for on-the-go breakfast, anytime snack or served in your next cocktail party. Noosh-e jān!