Navigate to Food section

Spinach and Feta Cheese Burekas

April 12, 2021
Spinach and Feta Cheese Burekas

My version of Proust’s madeleine is a buttery pocket-pastry filled with Bulgarian feta cheese and spinach, called a bureka by Jews of Turkish and of Balkan origin. Until recently, I hadn’t tasted a really good bureka since the early 1970s, when I was foreign press attaché to then-Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. In those days, every Friday morning, a Moroccan doorman from the municipality named Simantov would enter the office carrying crispy, hot-from-the-oven triangular buns—on a tray with Turkish coffee spiked with cardamom pods. At a very important time in my life, I bit into the crunchy pastry and tasted the salty feta and earthy spinach. The flavor was heavenly, and I looked forward to this treat every Friday morning.

Featured in: The Simple Way To Make the Ultimate ‘Burekas’

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 8-10ounces blanched spinach, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained well if frozen)
  • 1large egg
  • 12ounces Bulgarian feta
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the dough

  • ½pound fillo dough (1 sleeve)
  • 1 ½cups butter (3 sticks) melted
  • 1large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1tablespoon nigella or black sesame seeds
  • 1tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
Yield: About 36 burekas

Preparation

To make the filling

  • Step 1

    To make the filling, pulse the spinach, egg, and feta in a food processor just until the spinach is chopped and the cheese mixed in. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

To make the dough

  • Step 1

    Cut the fillo lengthwise into 3 strips and cover with a moist towel to prevent breaking. Take one strip and butter with a pastry brush. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling at the bottom of the strip. Fold to make a triangle and continue folding until the end of the strip (like you fold a flag). Place completed triangle on the prepared baking sheets.

  • Step 2

    Repeat with the remaining fillo strips, using the rest of the filling. Reserve any leftover fillo for another use.

  • Step 3

    Brush the top of each triangle with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Join Us!

All of Tablet’s latest stories—in your inbox, daily. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Please enter a valid email
Check iconSuccess! You have subscribed to the Tablet newsletter.