Turkish Eggplant and Cheese Burekitas

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

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

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.

 

Prepare the filling: Roast the eggplants (see instructions on p. 31), peel and chop them, and drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.

 

Add the oil to the eggplants and mix well. Stir in the cheese.

 

Prepare the bourekitas: Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

 

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. 

 

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.