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Turkish Eggplant and Cheese Burekitas
from "The Book of New Israeli Food"

The secret to this exquisite snack is its simplicity: the pastry is delicately crisp and the filling is very lightly seasoned. Don't be tempted to add spices. The flame-roasted eggplants combined with cheese need no enhancement. 

Ingredients (makes 50 bourekitas)
  • The Pastry:
  • 480 ml (17 fl oz, 2 cups) oil
  • 240 ml (81/2 fl oz, 1 cup) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz, 7 cups) flour
  • The Filling:
  • 5 eggplants
  • 80 ml (3 fl oz, 1/3 cup) oil
  • 300 g (101/2 oz) brinza or feta cheese, crumbled
  • The Coating:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup kashkaval or Parmesan cheese, grated, or sesame seeds
  1. Prepare the pastry: Pour the oil, water and salt into a large bowl. Gradually add the flour and knead into a soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Prepare the filling: Roast the eggplants (see instructions on p. 31), peel and chop them, and drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the oil to the eggplants and mix well. Stir in the cheese.
  4. Prepare the bourekitas: Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  5. Form about 50 dough balls the size of large apricots and roll them into 12 cm (4.7 inch) thick disks. Put a spoonful of the filling in the center of each disk, fold into a crescent and pinch the edges to seal. 
  6. Arrange the bourekitas with sufficient space between them on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle grated cheese or sesame seeds on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. 

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Photo: Eilon Paz (from "The Book of New Israeli Food")



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