Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Cheese Boureg

Boureg/burek/bourek/borek - so many different ways to spell this.  Any way you spell it, it tastes delicious.  Said to be of Anatolian/Assyrian origins, you can find this recipe in many countries of the world.  Clearly it is an ancient, well-loved and oft-made dish.  Basically it is a pastry filled and baked with meat or cheese or whatever you fancy.  Here I have chosen to use a cheese filling encased in a phyllo pastry - no, I didn't make my own pastry you funny people:-)  

I have already blogged about the boureg/pie I made using the recipe from Nawal Nasrallah's book Delights from the Garden of Eden.  For this dish, I have taken her recipe for a cheese filling and the method from Margaret Fulton's book Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery.  I emailed Nawal about the cheese filling just to make sure I had it right, and she confirmed that I did indeed have the proportions and kinds of cheese correct.  (The recipe doesn't give the full details so I wanted to be sure.)  And since I can't readily buy the Kurdish cheese necessary, we make do:-)

delicious, salty and flaky

Recipe adapted by Sherry's Pickings:


125g. of hard fetta, grated - I used Greek-style

125g. of hard mozzarella, grated - not the soft stuff in balls

125g. Pecorino Romano or similar - I used Grano Padano

1½ egg whites (60g.), lightly beaten

1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

1 big bunch of parsley, chopped  

3 tbs fresh dill, finely chopped 

50g. walnuts, chopped

60g. butter, melted

6-8 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed overnight in the fridge

1-2 tbs sesame seeds for the top (optional)


Place all the ingredients for the filling into a mixing bowl, and mix together well

Melt the butter and lightly grease a lamington tray (30 x 20 x 3cm.) or similar-sized baking tray 

Take 3-4 sheets of the phyllo, and layer them in the tray, buttering each one in between

Then place the filling evenly over the phyllo

And layer another 3-4 sheets over the filling, buttering each one

Press it neatly around the edges and butter generously over the top

Sprinkle on the sesame seeds if using

Bake at 180C/350F for about 20-25 minutes, till wondrously golden and crunchy

Serve with salad or veg. while warm from the oven, or slice up and hand around at parties


I made one and a half times the quantity of filling that Nawal gives, as I wanted a larger amount of filling, as per the method given by Margaret Fulton - oh, and I added some walnuts

Luckily I had some frozen egg whites, so I measured out 60g. worth - the average egg white being 40g.  Use a whole egg if you can't be bothered separating (and keeping) the yolk

The baking tin is approx 12 x 8 inches, for any US readers; you guys really need to go metric:-)

gather your ingredients

mix the filling ingredients together 

place the filling evenly over the buttered layers of phyllo 

whack on the other layers and butter generously

bake @ 180C for about 20-25 mins.

cheesy artwork by sherry's pickings


  1. I love burek! I have a family picnic this weekend that it would be perfect for...except we now have so many vegans and GFers that all my vego favourites are now unsuitable. Oh well, maybe I'll make it for us!

    1. i know what you mean lorraine. with friends who are GF, or vegan or just plain vegos, it gets bloody hard to feed them:-)

  2. My mouth is watering, I can taste that cheesy filling in the crisp and crunchy wrapping. I think I would have seconds. The GFers are a problem, but maybe would make an exception if they aren't celiac.

    1. I find it really annoying that people who have no legit reason to be GF, can annoy the heck out of cooks who have to feed them:-) tee hee...

  3. Sherry I love Boureg, I think of it as Greek but haven't been there. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Thankfully we only have one family member who is coeliac and she doesn't live here, but boy I have to be on my game when I cook for her. Soooo risky as she gets so sick. So I could make this no worries. Thanks for the great recipe and reminder to do more with cheese:)

    1. Hi pauline
      I think we first had borek in zagreb - or was it belgrade?:). I think anything wrapped in phyllo is a winner, don’t you? Thanks for dropping by. Cheers S x

  4. Boureg is fabulous - particularly tasty I must report. Mrs P did a superb job on these, i especially enjoyed the herbs. Even though there was lots of cheese, it didn't taste heavily of cheese, and was particularly lovely.

  5. I live in middle eastern part of melbourne so lots of these sort of wraps have a thin yeasted bread - I think of the filo pastry as Greek - but am no expert - however the cheese with lots of herbs and walnuts sound like a winner (and for the GF set, I know that GF pastry is getting better and more common in the supermarket so you could always wrap some filling for them in gf pastry - we have a couple of celiacs and always make sure they have something though there are times I don't cook for them if there is plenty else for them)

    1. hi johanna
      wikipedia says phyllo is Middle Eastern or Balkan so there you go. this is not a wrap but a pie, and of ancient origins:-) cheers sherry

  6. That looks scrummy. Have you ever tried making your own phyllo? It is really easy.

    1. Hi tandy
      Yes I noticed on one of your blog posts you mentioned making your own phyllo. I didn’t know it was easy. Must check it out. Cheers S

  7. This looks and sounds delicious! How could you go wrong with cheese and walnuts.

  8. WOW! This looks incredible. I love the seasoning, not just the cheeses! Thanks!

    1. thanks mimi. it made for a nice dinner. cheers S

  9. Sherry, this looks absolutely delicious! I bet it's just amazing with the three cheeses!

    1. thanks so much foodtasia:) it is tasty. cheers S


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