This coming Saturday (October 27th), we will have our 3rd Annual Turkish Festival of Charlotte! It is exciting to see the residents of Charlotte pouring in to eat Turkish food, watch the folkloric dances and learn about our culture. I will be doing some cooking demonstrations for half an hour or so. I thought for a while what could be shown and described in half an hour and decided on borek.So I spent pretty much the whole weekend practicing and I can safely say that we have enough borek around the house to eat for lunch and dinner for the next four days!
I have not used this method in making borek for a long time. It is a little bit more work than simply layering all the phyllo dough. The literal translation of this type is “arm borek” because when you roll up the phyllo, it was thought to resemble an arm. Once you roll it up, you can line it straight in a big baking pan, side by side with the other rolls. I used a pie plate and made it round. The store bought phyllo dough is very thin and can be hard to work with sometimes. If you use Turkish phyllo dough (yufka), you would need probably only one big round of yufka layer to fill that regular pie plate. You can cut the circle in half and roll up each half into a log, starting from the longer end towards to curved end.
If you are around the Charlotte area, please stop by at the Turkish Festival and say Hi! (See the website for the Festival details).
Spinach Rolled Up Borek (Ispanakli Kol Boregi)
- 1 roll of phyllo dough (about 20 sheets) (1 package has two rolls)
- 16 ounce of frozen spinach, thawed, extra water squeezed
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 tablespoons of yogurt
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- For top glaze:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup of butter, melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons of yogurt
- Nigella seeds (optional)
1. Mix spinach, egg whites, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk milk, yogurt and vegetable oil in another bowl.
2. Take one layer of phyllo and put it on the clean counter, horizontally (long edge on the bottom). Brush some milk mixture on it lightly. Put another layer, keep brushing the milk mixture. Repeat until you have 5 layers on top of each other. Spread 1/5th of the spinach filling, leaving 1/2 inch border around all four edges.
3. Bring the empty long edge over the filling and start rolling it up from the bottom to the top, making a tight roll. Place it in the well-greased pie plate (or whatever you are using).
4. Make another roll until you use all layers. You should have 5 rolls. You might have to use 6 layers in one or two rolls if you have 22 pieces in one bag. Place the next one where the previous one ended, tucking the end of one roll under the other.
5. Combine the remaining milk mixture, yolks, yogurt and melted butter. Spread over the borek. Sprinkle with nigella seeds if you want. Bake at 350 for 40 min or until golden brown.