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SPINACH AND CHEESE BOREK

September 9, 2018

If you’ve not had Greek Spanakopita before, you’re in for a treat! Spanakopita is a popular Greek pie made of golden, perfectly crisp, phyllo dough with a comforting filling of spinach and feta. However, my family is not a fan of feta cheese at all. So, we have our own version of Spanakopita. It’s a mix of the Middle Eastern/Armenian Cheese Borek recipe and Spanakopita. I am sharing a family-favorite; an easy spinach and cheese borek recipe. Crispy phyllo pie filled with a soft spinach and cheese mixture.

 

This delicious Spinach and Cheese Borek can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or even a light lunch. It is surprisingly filling, keeping in mind the lack of meat. The end result is this delightful dish with flaky and crispy phyllo layers and a creamy spinach and cheese filling. If you are into Mediterranean cuisine, I highly recommend this one.

 

As I have said before, Borek is a great option for your guests who are vegetarian. This dish is also great because can be made ahead and it freezes beautifully. It is ready in about an hour and a perfect recipe for entertaining, even those last minute guests.​

 

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 16 oz chopped spinach, wilted and drained well

  • 1 egg

  • 6 oz Cacique Queso Fresco, crumbled

  • 6 oz Mozzarella, shredded

  • 1 teaspoon Ground red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Crust

  • 1 (16 oz) package Phyllo pasty sheets, properly thawed

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, more if needed


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Before you begin mixing the filling, be sure the spinach is wilted in boiling water and very well drained, and squeeze out any excess liquid by hand.

  3. To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, add the spinach and the remaining filling ingredients. Stir until all is well-combined.

  4. Unroll the phyllo sheets and place them between two very lightly damp kitchen cloths.

  5. Prepare a 9 1/2″ X 13″ baking dish. Brush the bottom and sides of the dish with melted butter.

  6. To assemble the spanakopita: Line the baking dish with two sheets of phyllo, letting them cover the sides of the dish. Brush with melted butter. 

  7. Add two more sheets in the same manner, and brush them with melted butter. Repeat until two-thirds of the phyllo dough is used up.

  8. Now, evenly spread the spinach and cheese filling over the layers of phyllo dough. 

  9. Top with two more sheets, and brush with melted butter.

  10. Continue to layer the phyllo sheets, two-at-a-time, brushing with melted butter, until you have used up all the sheets. 

  11. Brush the very top layer with melted butter.

  12. Fold the flaps or excess from the sides.

  13. Cut the borek into squares, or leave the cutting to later. (It makes less of a mess if cut before cooking.)

  14. Bake in the 375 degrees F heated-oven for 40 minutes, or until the phyllo crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cut along the same lines again to cut the cheese that oozed after melting. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

NOTES:

  • Make Ahead Notes: You can make this borek the evening before. Follow up to step #12, cover and refrigerate. When you are ready, go ahead and start back at step #13.

  • Freezing Instructions: Uncooked borek will freeze well. Be sure to have it well covered to avoid freezer burn. No need to thaw before baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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