It is thought that the Ottoman Palace kitchens devised these tasty treats in order to tempt the precious little princes. The cigar shaped version with cheese and herb mixture is very popular at home for a snack, appetizer or as part of the Turkish breakfast. I had some left over cooked potato and added to the cheese and parsley mixture, the result was delicious – they disappeared very quickly, very popular with children as well as adults. Worth giving a go!
As with most savory Turkish filled pastries, this borek freeze very well once cooked too.
Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes
260 gr / 9 oz phyllo (filo) pastry sheets, thawed
110 gr / 4 oz potato, cooked
100 gr/ 3 1/2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
100 gr/ 3 1/2 oz shredded mozzarella
2 eggs (one for the filling, one for brushing the boreks)
1 bunch / 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
15 ml / 1 tablespoon olive oil
15 ml / 1 tablespoon whole milk
Nigella and sesame seeds to decorate the boreks (before baking)
Bowl of water to seal the filo rolls
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4
Mash together the cheese (feta and mozzarella), 1 egg, cooked potato, parsley and the milk to form a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. However, if the feta cheese is already salty, you may wish not to add salt.
Lay the filo sheets in front of you and cut to form elongated rectangles. Keep the pastry covered with a damp cloth as you are working. This will help to avoid it getting too dry or less manageable.
Lay one strip of filo and place a tablespoon of the filling along one of the short ends (take care not to overfill as the filling may ooze out while cooking). Fold over the pastry from each side to seal in the mixture and then roll up like a cigar. Wet the end with water to seal. Continue, keeping the finished ones covered with a damp cloth as you work. Refrigerate until required.
Mix the olive oil and the other egg in a bowl. Grease the tray with a little olive oil. Brush the pastries with olive oil and egg mixture. Sprinkle nigella and sesame seeds over the pastries and bake until they are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Serve hot as part of a meze spread.