Food You Can Eat: Cheese Borek

"Borek" sounds like a combination of a laundry detergent and the Yiddish word for shit.

OMG, this is so awesome.

First things first:  My new Best Friend who taught me how to make the greatest baklava of all time, is also teaching me how to make some other Turkish delicacies.  This one is called borek, which is similar to the Greek spanakopita.  I am living the dream, my friends.

A caveat before we get started:  This isn’t quite traditional borek, but a variation that my friend developed, based on her own experience and in also tailoring it to her husband’s tastes.  But, you know what?  It doesn’t matter, because it is still kick-ass.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 stick butter

½ Cup Olive Oil

1 Lb. Feta cheese

1 Bunch Parsley, chopped

¾ Cup Sliced Black Olives

5 eggs

1 Box #7 Filo Dough

1 Cup Milk

Approximately 4 Tablespoons of Nigella Seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and olive oil together.  While that is taking place, crumble the block of feta into a bowl.  Do not get the pre-crumbled feta, because that typically contains anti-caking additives which will screw up the texture here.  Just get your hands dirty and deal with it.  Throw in the parsley and black olives and mix together.

In a separate bowl, beat three of the eggs, then mix into the cheese mixture until thoroughly combined.

Open the box of filo, and flatten out the sheets.  Count the sheets into two even numbered groups.  Typically, with a #7 dough, you’ll get anywhere from 14-18 sheets, so the two groups should be between 7-9 sheets each.

When the butter and olive oil are ready, mix them well and then brush a layer onto the bottom of a ½ sheet cake pan.  Then add a single layer of filo and coat it with the butter/oil mixture.  Repeat until you have about half of the first group of sheets laid down (so, if you had 16 sheets to start with, then you had two groups of 8 sheets, meaning that after the fourth sheet is laid down, the next step takes place).

Dribble about two tablespoons of milk onto the filo and brush it all over.  Then repeat the process of laying down and buttering the rest of the first group of filo sheets.

Spread the cheese mixture in an even layer on top of the filo.  It won’t spread easily and you don’t want to tear the dough, so watch your technique.  Then start laying down and buttering the second set of filo, pausing halfway through for another two tablespoons of milk to be brushed, finishing with the last of the filo sheets and butter mixture.

Cut the borek into 32 squares (4 x 8).  Then, separate the yolks out of the other two eggs and beat the yolks with the remaining milk.  Pour and brush the mixture over the borek.  Then top with a sprinkle of nigella seeds.

Bake in the oven for roughly 35-40 minutes or until the filo has a good tan. 

This can either be served hot out of the oven, or it can be served chilled.  I actually prefer the chilled method because it reminds me of cold pizza. It also freezes well for longer storage.

After this latest lesson, she sent me home with a Turkish cookbook so I can look through it and get some ideas.  Watch out.

About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 575 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.


  1. If you want to start an international incident, insist to my wife that Turks invented burek and not Serbs.

    Me? I don’t care one way or the other, but bureks are effing delicious.  If you get up to Chicago, go the the ABC European Deli on West Lawrence avenue and order a couple.  Tell Peđa I said hello.  He’ll hook you up.

  2. Any recipe that starts out with a stick of butter is quality in my book!


    • Real burek are made with lard.

  3. Scurries off to update the grocery list . . . healthy cooking be damned!

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