Spinach and Feta Borek

Filo Dough Börek with Feta and Greens

Have you ever tried Börek with Feta and Greens? If not, you just have to do it as soon as possible. This layered savory pastry is incredibly popular in Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Baltik countries. No wonder why, It’s can be filled with all kinds of delicious things, from salty feta to juicy minced meat, depending on the region of origin. The names also differ from country to country. For example, in Turkey it’s börek, burek in Albania, and byurek in Bulgaria.

Today I’m sharing the Turkish version with cheese and spinach, but I’m also excited to explore other variations. I learned this dish from my Ukrainian friend, who married a Turkish guy and lived in Istambul for 5 years. One day, she cooked a beautiful flaky börek for me, and it became one of my favorite savory pastries.

About börek filling

I know there are a lot of different börek fillings. I really like the wonderful combination of feta and greens. You can use Greek, Bulgarian, or even your local feta. I like using Bulgarian feta because it’s made with sheep’s milk and tastes pleasantly briny and creamy.

You can also get creative with greens. As a good base, tart with a bunch of leafy greens such as spinach, chard, kale, beet tops, or even stinging nettle. Then add some soft herbs. Green onion, parsley, and dill work exceptionally well. But you can also try adding basil or mint for more aroma. Just try not to mix too many perfumed herbs together, or they will overpower one another.

I hope you’ll like this Börek with Feta and Greens recipe as much as I do! Also, check out these two other recipes you might like: Lahmacun and Jingalov Hats.

Börek with Feta and Greens

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pounds spinach
  • 2 1/2 ounces green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce dill chopped
  • 1/2 pounds feta cheese crumbled
  • 9 sheets phyllo dough thawed
  • 1 small egg lightly whisked
  • 3 1/2 ounces butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the onion is softened and bright green. Add the spinach and cover again.
  • Steam the greens, mixing once or twice, until the spinach is soft but still vibrant and green. It will take about 3 minutes.
  • Place the greens in a colander and gently press with a back of a spoon to squeeze out excess liquid. Then carefully pat dry them with a paper towel.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the feta, dill, and cooked greens. Set aside.
  • On a large work surface, place two filo sheets slightly overlapping each other. Generously brush with butter. Place two more sheets on top of them and brush with butter and continue with the rest of the phyllo sheets until you have 1 left. We'll need it to cover the börek before baking.
  • Spoon the feta filling in a bottom, forming a snake-shaped line from one end to another. Fold the bottom over the feta mixture and roll into a snake shape. Then roll the pastry into a snail shape.
  • Line 8-inch round baking dish with parchment paper. Place the borek into the biking dish and cover with the last phyllo sheet; tuck the end under the pastry.
  • Brush the pastry with the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake on a medium rack for 25 to 35 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
  • Remove your börek from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
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