Bourekas are a Sephardi, and more specifically Turkish, treat coming from the word borek which means pie. They are often made with phyllo dough and can be shaped in a variety of ways. In Turkey they are formed into circles. But in Israel they are formed into small, hand-held pies akin to empanadas. Bourekas are one of the foods I most look forward to enjoying when I visit Israel. And you can truly find them everywhere — small ones at the breakfast buffet, larger ones at coffee shops, or row after row in the market — all shaped differently depending on the filling: potato, mushroom, eggplant, spinach or cheese.
Of course, you don’t need to travel all the way to Israel or the Mediterranean to enjoy one of these savory treats. With the wonder that is store-bought puff pastry, you can make them at home, even on busy weeknights. They are also wonderful to prepare ahead — you can prep all the steps before the egg wash and baking, then pop them into the freezer until you are ready to bake them off.
These spinach and cheese bourekas have a little Greek influence, with some lemon zest and dried oregano, which complements the salty, creamy feta and farmers cheeses. But play around with your favorite cheese and veggie combination depending on what your tastes or what you handy have in the fridge
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed in fridge for 1-2 hours
4 oz feta cheese
4 oz farmers cheese
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine feta cheese, farmers cheese, spinach, zest and spices. Mix.
Cut each sheet of puff pastry into four pieces. (You will have eight bourekas in total).
Fold each square of puff pastry in half, trimming edges to ensure a perfect shape.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling and place one one side of the puff pastry square. Fold side over creating a traingle.
Seal boureka shut using tines of a salad fork.
Brush with beaten egg. Top with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp on top. Serve warm or room temperature.