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Veggie and cheese burekas
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Veggie and cheese burekas

Photo by Shutterstock
Photo by Shutterstock

The best part of burekas, aside from being doughy little pockets of heaven, is that I use them as a way to clean out my fridge of the veggies and/or herbs that are nearing the end of their freshness. I’ve included my favorite veggie-cheese combination for this recipe, but the combinations are endless. Simply chop up your favorite veggies lying around in your fridge, saute with some olive oil and garlic, and then pair them with your favorite cheese. Put the mix into some store-bought puff pastry and you’ve got an awesome weeknight dinner in just 30 minutes.

VEGGIE AND CHEESE BUREKAS

2 sheets store-bought puff pastry, defrosted
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. filling of choice such as minced garlic, feta cheese, cilantro, fried eggplant, or sauteed leek
1 egg yolk plus 2 tsp. water
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare filling: Slice eggplant into quarter-inch rounds. Place on a paper towel, dust with kosher salt, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Pat dry and cut into cubes. 

Heat one-inch sunflower or canola oil in frying pan at medium high. When hot, fry eggplant until each side is golden brown. Let cool on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside to cool.

Wipe excess oil from pan and add another two tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add chopped leeks and garlic. Saute on medium high heat until fragrant, about five minutes. Add mixture to plate of cooling eggplant.

Place eggplant, leeks, cilantro, feta, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; stir to combine. 

On a lightly floured surface, unfold one puff pastry sheet. Use a rolling pin to roll out the sheet to a 12-by-12-inch square. Cut the sheet of puff pastry dough into nine equal squares, each about four-by-four inches. 

Place one tablespoon of filling in the center of each square. Grasp one corner and fold it over to the opposite corner to make triangles. Pinch firmly along the outer open edge of the triangles to seal. Go over each edge with a finger dip of water to help seal the dough.

Spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place burekas on each sheet, evenly spaced, giving them some room to expand during baking.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and two teaspoons of cool water. Use a pastry brush to brush a light layer of the egg wash onto the surface of each bureka. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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