These courgette & feta boregi are so moreish. The stuffing is really fresh tasting, with the surprising crunch of the sunflower seeds. The pastry is crisp and deliciously rich. It’s a great way of using the courgette glut from this time of the year. It’s also liked by people who profess not to like courgettes!
They are perfect dinner party food and also do well for buffets and quick lunches. You can eat them hot, warm or at room temperature.
What’s even better is that the boregi keep well in the fridge and they freeze well too.
They are a very versatile food indeed.
I’ve adapted this recipe from the middle eastern cuisine guru Arto der Haroutunian’s book Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East. His filling is just courgette, feta & mint which is just lovely. I wanted to add some crunchy texture and a slightly more complex flavour.
The recipe below makes about 40, depending on how thin you roll your pastry, so it’s well worth the short while they take to make and bake.
Interested in making these? Read on…
Courgette & feta, yoghurt pastry boregi recipe
500g courgettes, topped & tailed (if you have them, use different coloured ones)
200g feta cheese, grated (use what firm cheese you have if feta not available)
50g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
10-15g fresh coriander, finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste (check before you add salt as the feta can be quite salty)
225g unsalted butter, melted (or margarine)
30g vegetable oil
1 medium egg (about 55g)
560g plain flour
Large pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Some beaten egg to glaze the pastry
You’ll need one or more baking trays greased and floured to bake your boregi. I put mine onto some Bake-O-Glide which I put onto a baking stone with a peel. If you’ve no idea what that last sentence meant, don’t worry…
Before making the pastry grate the courgettes and put them in a colander or sieve over a bowl to drain. Allow to drain for at least 30 minutes. You could salt them a little if you wished to help this, but I don’t bother.
Then make the pastry.
Mix the butter, oil, yoghurt and egg together in a bowl.
Sift into the wet ingredients the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Bring the dough together, it will be very sticky. Pop it out onto a lighty floured worktop. Oil or wet your hands to help with the stickiness and knead the dough lightly until it’s smooth and no longer so sticky. If you have to, add a little flour but don’t go mad. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
You can now pre-heat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Then complete your filling. Tip the liquid out of the bowl under the courgettes (always assuming this will be big enough to mix up your filling). Take small handfuls of your courgettes and squeeze out any remaining liquid, then put the squeezed courgette into your mixing bowl. Do this until you’ve done all the courgette.
Put all the remaining filling ingredients in the bowl with the courgettes and mix gently until well combined. You want to make sure all the different ingredients are well distributed without mashing them into a pulp.
Once the pastry has rested, you’ll need to roll out portions of it to make up boreks as you go.
Take off a lump of dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough until it’s about 2-3mm thick. Then use a large cutter or a bowl and knife to cut out rounds about 10cm in diameter. Take your trimmings and add these to your next portion of dough, just knead them in lightly. Did I say the dough was sticky? It is. Just use enough flour to make sure you don’t get all messy. The dough is also quite fragile, so you need to be gentle with it too.
To fill the borek, first imagine a line horizontally across the dough circle. Put a large tablespoon full of the filling just below this line in the middle of the dough and make it spread to within about 1cm of the edge. Fold over the top half of the dough circle so the edges meet neatly. Press the edges firmly with a fork to seal. Pop the borek onto your greased and floured baking tray.
Repeat this process until either the filling or the pastry runs out.
Brush the tops of the boregi with the beaten egg. Make sure you get a good coverage to get a nice glaze all over.
Pop your full baking tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until they are a rich golden brown.
Take out the boregi and place on a cooling rack while you cook the remaining boregi in the same way.
The boregi are great served with a crunchy salad as you can see above.
Fabulous vegetarian Demuths Restaurant suggested that chutney would go well with them too: it does.
And they are also great with baked beans for an easy hot meal.
If you have a go at making them, please let me know.