Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +


There used to be this Israeli restaurant in Chicago where my dad held court with a bunch of other Israeli hotheads. They’d sit at the table closest to the kitchen and argue about politics, sports, and home remodeling and drink lots of coffee and order plates of hummus and babaghanouj, bowls of lentil soup, and always burekas, which are flaky turnovers stuffed with vegetables and, sometimes, cheese. They spoke in Hebrew; I couldn’t understand a word, so I just quietly loaded my plate with all the good stuff and sat, minding my own business, deep diving into the deliciousness.

  • Yield: 4 BUREKAS


  • 0.33 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh oregano, rosemary,
  • or thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup pitted black olives (preferably oil-cured), roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup roughly chopped roasted red bell peppers (jarred is fine)
  • 1 sheet thawed frozen puff pastry
  • Flour, for rolling the puff pastry
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
How to Make It
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Whisk the ricotta, feta, Pecorino Romano, oregano, black olives, lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium-size bowl. Crack the egg into a small bowl and lightly beat it. Add half the beaten egg and the roasted peppers to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Into the remaining beaten egg, whisk 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt to make an egg wash (for sealing and brushing the top of the pastry).
  3. Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll it to ⅛- to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the pastry horizontally down the middle, then cut vertically into thirds so you have 6 pieces. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet, you will have 6 squares or rectangles—it doesn’t really matter. Spoon about ¼ cup of cheese filling onto the bottom third of each piece leaving a ½-inch border at the bottom. Dip a pastry brush into the egg wash and coat the bottom edges and sides with it. Fold the top of each pastry over the bottom to enclose the cheese filling, pressing to seal the edges. Transfer the burekas to the prepared sheet pan, brush the tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving. The burekas are best eaten fresh, within 1 hour of baking. If you want to make them ahead of time,
  5. rewarm them in a 300°F oven until they are warm and flaky again.

Comments are closed.