A plate of Armenian Boreks

Armenian Boreks

These cheesy, crispy, triangle-shaped hand pies - known by various spellings but always pronounced the same - are a delicious addition when served alongside olives, string cheese, dried apricots, walnut halves, basturma, and sujuk. Typically filled with a savory blend of cheeses, and sometimes complemented by spinach or meat, boreks are adored by Armenians and hold a special place in the hearts of countries once under the Ottoman Empire's reign, such as Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and Serbia.

INGREDIENTS

For the Filling

  • 15 oz Greek feta, crumbled
  • 8 oz Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5 oz fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped mixed tender herbs (such as parsley and dill)
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large eggs (110g), lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Borek Assembly

  • 12 (13- by 18-inch) sheets phyllo dough, thawed and rested at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 16 tbsp clarified unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

In a medium bowl, combine feta, Muenster, goat cheese, ricotta, herbs, scallions, eggs, and pepper, and toss gently to combine. Cover and set aside. Mix seeds in a small bowl and set aside.

STEP 2

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, cut stack of phyllo sheets in half to form 24 13- by 9-inch sheets. Stack together and cover with a sheet of parchment and a clean kitchen towel.

STEP 3

Remove one phyllo sheet from the stack and transfer to a clean work surface, with the long end of the sheet running parallel to the edge of the counter. Working lengthwise, brush half of phyllo sheet that is closest to you lightly but evenly with butter. Fold sheet in half toward you lengthwise, covering the buttered portion of dough. Rotate sheet 90 degrees so short side now faces you, and brush entire surface of sheet lightly but evenly with butter.

STEP 4

Place a scant ¼ cup of filling on the bottom left-hand corner of the sheet, about one inch from the bottom edge. Form filling into a rough triangle with the long side being on the diagonal. Lift the bottom right corner of the phyllo and fold it over the filling and gently press to form a right triangle. Continue folding up and over, like folding a flag, until you reach the end of the phyllo strip. 

STEP 5

Using a sharp knife, trim off any overhanging phyllo. Brush the top of the triangle with butter and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, seam side down. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp of the seed mixture.

STEP 6

Repeat borek-forming process with remaining phyllo and filling, arranging boreks in pairs with long edges facing each other.

STEP 7

Bake until golden and crisp, 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let boreks cool at least 5 minutes before serving. 

Make Ahead

Boreks can be prepared through Step 6 and frozen. Bake directly from frozen for 20 – 25 minutes. Boreks can be reheated at 400°F for 5-10 minutes.

SERVE WITH...


VINTAGE:  2021

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Kangun (cane-goon)

REGION: Aragatsotn Province, Armenia 

DRINK IF YOU LIKE:  Rhône Whites, Chardonnay, Albariño 

ALCOHOL:  14%


A richly flavored expression of the rare Armenian variety Kangun, this wine is medium bodied and flush with ripe melon and pear orchard fruit flavors. Gently honeyed and with softer wildflower and garden herb notes, this is a white wine that can be enjoyed year-round.

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