Crustless Leek Bake (Borek) and Some Encounters at the Supermarkets

Right before I came to the U.S., I made a copy of every single page of my mom’s recipe book, made a table of contents and put it in my bag. Although there are many redundant recipes in it (there are only so many cake recipes I can try with similar ratios and ingredients!), I have discovered some new ones. The ones that I do not remember eating it at all back home. So these ones, of course, get picked first when I am trying a new recipe.

My mom called this “borek” but there is no phyllo dough involved in this recipe. It is a cake-batter like dough made with yogurt, flour, eggs and sauteed leeks, poured into a lightly oiled pan and baked. I am not a big fan of leeks, so this one hides them very well, wraps them in a moist batter.

Another thing that I wanted to share is something I have finally started to find hilarious, but in a way, it is still sad.

I do my shopping for groceries and everything else in several different locations depending on my list: Walmart, Bi-Lo, Compare Foods and farmer’s market, if open.Following conversations happened with cashiers in three of these locations. Would love to hear what you think of it.

Location 1:

Cashier: There is no code on this, what is this – not green onions right?

Me: Leeks

Cashier: And this? Is this ….eggplant, am I right?

Me (thinking “Are you kidding me??!!” …but patiently said): Yes.

Cashier: Umm… And this bag is … green beans? Boy they are very thin!

Me: Yes green beans…

Cashier: M’am, you are buying really weird stuff. Do you cook or something?

Me (felt like saying “No I feed my cows with these” but politely said): Yes

Location 2:

I put all the vegetables on the band, the cashier starts ringing them.

Cashier – holding a bag of pearl onions: Gheez look at these small things, you buy’em instead of onions?

Me: They are onions, prefer it for stews.

Cashier keeps ringing other vegetables. Then grabs a bunch of beets:

Cashier: What is this?

Me (tired): Beets.

Cashier (excited): You mean, fresh beets look like this?? (turned to the girl who was bagging my stuff) Did you see this?

The bagging girl: Wow! How cool is that? Never seen fresh beets.

Me…felt like crying…

Location 3 (my fav place for fresh vegetables):

Cashier starts ringing all my vegetables and fresh herbs.

Me: That is…

Cashier: I know, fresh dill.

Me: Well, that one is...

Cashier: I know…bok choy…

Me: Oh, that bag is full of...

Cashier: Full of celeriac, yes…good choice…

Me: Ok I am sorry, I will shut up…

Cashier (smiles): I cook a lot too.

Me (embarrassed, and I have no idea why I said it but said ) : Thank you.

You think, maybe some stores need a little bit more training on the products they are selling?

Crustless Leeks Bake (Leek Borek)

  • 4-5 leeks, (600 gr or about 1lbs and 6 oz.)
  • 3/4 cups of vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 to 3 cups of flour (Start with adding only 2 cups of flour. You might need more because it depends on how thick/thin yogurt is, how big the eggs are etc. All you need to do is to add enough flour to make it a cake batter consistency. If you use a yogurt like Fage, you might need as much as you would need with a store brand runny yogurt, for example)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of table salt
  • Nigella seeds for topping (optional)

1. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, then cut 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Wash very well and get rid of the sand.

2. Saute the leeks in vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once it wilts and cooked, set aside to cool.

3. Put the leeks and vegetable oil from the pan in a mixing bowl. Add the rest. Stir. Check the consistency of the batter. It should have cake batter consistency.

4. Lightly oil an 8″x8″ deep baking pan. Pour the batter. Sprinkle nigella seeds.  Bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.






  1. by rebecca
    9:16 pm
    Feb 3, 2012

    love this and have had lots of these encounters before unreal but funny

  2. by Vince
    11:19 am
    Feb 4, 2012

    Ilke, Looks wonderful! I do like leeks and must make this recipe. I agree some cashiers need to “check-out” their produce section. I haven’t tried your mastic pudding recipe but I will. Where do you purchase mastic? Many thanks!

  3. by beti
    1:15 pm
    Feb 4, 2012

    I bet it tastes delicious and I’m thinking that it goes well with almost every meal looks so fluffy and perfect

  4. by Parsley Sage
    1:35 pm
    Feb 4, 2012

    HAHAH! That’s hilarious! That actually happens to me alot too. In fact, there’s a girl that works the counter at my store that I now specifically wait for because she’s always so excited to learn what I’m buying and what I’m going to do with it. It’s amazing how many people don’t cook anymore.

    This leek bake is beautiful. Wonderful dish!

  5. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    4:05 pm
    Feb 5, 2012

    This looks YUM! I am HUNGRY!

    Is that cashier from another planet? Or just being fed with all the canned food?

  6. by Snippets of Thyme (Sarah)
    8:52 am
    Feb 6, 2012

    Your story is hilarious and yes also very sad…but in a pathetically funny way. We are all so far removed from our food sources. I was guilty also until I began cooking and then blogging. Now when something is new on a menu, it is like a child’s field trip to see where I can go in order to investigate this newfound ingredient!! BTW, I would love your dish because I adore sauteed leeks.

  7. by Shelley
    11:23 pm
    Feb 10, 2012

    As a fan of leeks, I think your borek looks and sounds terrific! I’ve had similar conversations with checkout persons when I stop by my neighborhood HEB, not that I can buy much produce there because it’s so terrible looking. My husband works at Whole Foods so we do most of our shopping there and of course, the conversation is totally different. I think the cashiers just learn what the most purchased items are and for most grocery stores, sadly, that’s probably boxed foods.

  8. by Jenni
    7:11 pm
    Feb 11, 2012

    Hi, Ilke! I so recognized those types of conversations! Love the beet one, especially. I find it funny/sad as well. We really all should know what our foods look like, even if we don’t necessarily grow them ourselves–or even eat them. I’m not a fan of broccoli, but I would know it if I met it in a dark alley, ya know?!

    So great to meet you and your beloved today. Hope to do it again sometime soon:)

    Oh, and I like leeks, so I would definitely enjoy this!

  9. by Louanne
    1:39 pm
    Jul 30, 2012

    Just found you after searching for muhammara. I am having such a great time looking at all of your recipes, and I’ve pinned quite a few!

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