Turkish

Spinach & Feta Cheese Börek


Ever since I tasted börek at one of the stall in Queen Victoria Market circa 2010, I knew I wanted to make my own börek someday. Now you may ask, wth is börek? Börek is a Turkish baked pastry made from filo pastry/phyllo and filled with vegetables or meat with cheese. You can say that it’s a Turkish version of pie. The one that I will be making below is filled with spinach and feta cheese.

Spinach & Feta Cheese Borek
Yummy!

Ispanak-Spinach
I got hold of a bottle of cooked spinach which is called ispanak in Turkish, so I’m going to skip the cooking of spinach in this post but you can follow the recipe below.

Ispanak-Spinach
Bottled spinach.

Feta Cheese
The feta cheese that I use.

Add Feta Cheese to Spinach
Crumble the cheese with hand and stir with the spinach to combine.

Filo Pastry
Filo pastry. Mine come with 18 sheets in total.

Filo Pastry
Place the filo pastry on a flat surface and make sure you cover it with a damp cloth.

Brush First Layer of Filo Pastry with Glaze
Use a rectangle baking pan and brush all sides and bottom with melted butter. My pan size is 9″x13″. Now take the first layer of the filo pastry and layer into the pan and brush with glaze like in the picture above. As you can see, the filo pastry is larger than my pan. You can trim the filo pastry to fit the pan perfectly or just layer it like I do.

Continue adding a second layer and brush with glaze again. Do this repeatedly until 9 layers has been used up. Because my filo come with 18 sheets, I halved it to become 9 sheets. That’s why. If your filo box come with 20 sheets, then layer it for 10 layers with glaze in between them.

Add Spinach Filling
On top of the 9th layer, add spinach + feta cheese filling. Make sure they are evenly distributed. Allow some space on the edges and corners (about ½ inch) so that when you slice it later, the filling won’t over flow.

Top with Filo & Brush with Glaze
Now top with a filo sheet and brush with glaze. Continue this until you have used up all your filo sheet (all remaining 9 sheets) with glaze in between.

Brush Top Layer with Topping Glaze
Brush the top layer with topping glaze.

Cut Into Desired Shape
Now slice into your desired shaped (square, triangle, rectangle).

Sprinkle Sesame Seeds On Top
Lastly sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on top.

Now you’re ready to bake. Bake at 180oC for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Hope you enjoy this delicious börek.

Spinach & Feta Cheese Borek
As you can see making borek is quite exciting. It’s all about cooking the filling and doing the fun layering work.

Spinach & Feta Cheese Borek
I had this spinach and feta cheese börek for lunch and dinner. And then lunch again. Hehehe

Spinach & Feta Cheese Börek
Adapted from Fool Proof Living and Little Ferraro Kitchen
Serves 4-6

1 box filo pastry, thawed overnight (if frozen) – mine contained 18 sheets
50g-70g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Cooking spinach:
500g baby spinach, washed and dried
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
or
1 bottle of cooked spinach (about 500g) – if you’re lazy like me

Glaze:
40g butter, melted (leave some for oiling the baking pan)
1/3 cup natural yogurt or milk (I use yogurt)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg

Topping glaze:
1/8 cup yogurt or milk (I use yogurt)
1 egg

Method:
1. If you’re using bottled cooked spinach you may skip this step 1. To cook spinach, heat cooking oil in a pan or wok. Add chopped onion and cook until fragrant. Add spinach, salt and pepper and stir well. Cook until the spinach has lost its volume. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl. Let spinach cooled down for about 15 minutes.

Once it has cooled down, use a strainer to strain off its juices. Place spinach in a bowl

2. Add feta cheese into the spinach. Stir gently to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the glaze together and on another bowl, mix the topping glaze.

4. Using a rectangle pan (mine is 9″x13″), brush pan on all sides and bottom with melted butter.

5. Unfold filo and place on a dry flat surface. Cover filo with damp cloth as this dough sheet is very thin and dries off rather easily.

6. Layer the first layer of filo pastry into the pan and brush with glaze. Continue this for 8 layers more; that is layer a sheet into the pan and brush with glaze until all 9 layers is used up.

Because my filo box come with a total of 18 sheets, I halved it becoming 9 sheets as mentioned above.

7. Add spinach+feta cheese filling and distribute evenly, leaving about ½ inch space on the edges and corners.

8. Then top with filo and brush with glaze. Continue this for the next 8 layers (when you have used up all your filo sheet).

9. Brush the top layer with topping glaze. Use a knife to cut into your desired shaped (I slice mine into squares). Lastly sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on top.

10. Bake at 180oC for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serves warm.

Enjoy!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Dawn May 14, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Oh yes I had that for breakfast in our hotels. Some places have them for lunch too and some with no spinach, just cheese. I love it 🙂

    • Reply Che-Cheh May 14, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Just cheese is even better. 🙂

  • Reply Medeja May 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    These pictures make me hungry 🙂

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