Oct 20 2014
After perusing through Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Cooking when trying to decide what to make for the pre-dinner spread at Thanksgiving this year, I ended up deciding on Spinach Boreks. I had assumed that they were a Greek dish – perhaps because of the spinach and feta cheese, or maybe because they reminded me so much of Spanakopitas. After eating these golden crispy triangles of deliciousness – and doing some research – I found out that they’re not really Greek at all, but rather Turkish. While it’s phyllo dough that’s used in North America, the Turks have a similar pastry known as yufka, and the term borek refers to any dish in which this particular type of dough is wrapped or twisted around a filling. I will warn you that the process of twisting and wrapping can be a long one, but it’s well worth it, I promise.
2 pounds spinach $4.99
3 tablespoons butter $0.18
3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped $0.11
1 tablespoon scallion, finely chopped $0.05
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped $0.08
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled $3.99
12 sheets phyllo dough $1.99
16 tablespoons melted butter $0.96
Total cost $12.37
Cost per serving $0.49
1.) Trim, wash, and steam or boil the spinach just until it is thoroughly wilted. Drain, cool under cold running water, and squeeze dry. Chop fine.
2.) Heat the 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet set over low heat. Add the onions and the scallions, stir, and cook just until they are soft.
3.) Remove the skillet from the heat and add the spinach and dill. Stir to mix and coat the spinach with the butter.
4.) Add the cheese, season lightly with salt and pepper, and mix. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
5.) Thaw the phyllo if it is frozen. Unwrap and unfold the stacks of sheets and cut them in half lengthwise. Keep any phyllo you are not working with covered with a moist paper towel or clean tea towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
6.) Taking one sheet at a time, brush it with the melted butter. Fold it in half lengthwise and butter it again.
7.) Place a small amount of the spinach mixture (about 1 tablespoon) at the very end of the buttered strip, and down near the bottom corner. Fold the phyllo under the spinach mixture up so that you encapsulate the spinach mixture within the phyllo and form a triangle at that end. Then fold back down and back up, repeating this pattern until you have folded the entire strip. As each borek is made, place the packets down on a baking sheet with the loose ends of the phyllo on the bottom.
8.) When all boreks have been made and are on the baking sheet, brush the tops of each one with melted butter.
9.) Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the boreks are golden brown and crisp, about 20 – 25 minutes.
10.) Serve and enjoy!