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Ispanaklı peynirli börek / Spinach with cheese phyllo pastry

Selam everybody....Merhaba from Turkey...

Most of the time, the word "börek" is accompanied in Turkish by a descriptive word referring to the shape, ingredients of the pastry, for the cooking methods or for or a specific region where it is typically prepared.

In Turkey, we know many variety of börek depends it filling and how to make it. 
Su böreği  or 'water börek' is one of the most common types. Layers of dough are boiled briefly in large pans, then a mixture of feta cheese, parsley and oil is scattered between the layers. The whole thing is brushed with butter and laid in a masonry oven to cook.

Sigara böreği 'cigarette börek' or kalem böreği 'pen börek', a smaller, cylindrical variety is often filled with feta cheese, potato, parsley and sometimes with minced meat or sausage. A variety of vegetables, herbs and spices are used in böreks, such as spinach, nettle, leek, and courgette, and usually ground black pepper. The name kalem böreği was adopted in September 2011 by some Turkish pastry organizations in order to avoid alluding to smoking.

Paçanga böreği, is a traditional Sephardic Jewish specialty of Istanbul filled with pastırma or kaşar, and julienned green peppers fried in olive oil and eaten as ameze.

Saray böreği 'palace börek' is a layered börek where fresh butter is rolled between each of the dough sheets.

Talaş böreği or Nemse böreği 'sawdust' or 'Austrian' börek, is a small square börek mostly filled with lamb cubes and green peas, that has starchier yufka sheets, making it puffy and crispy.

Kol böreği 'arm börek' is prepared in long rolls, either rounded or lined, and filled with either minced meat, feta cheese, spinach or potato and baked at a low temperature.

Sarıyer böreği is a smaller and a little fattier version of the "Kol böreği", named after Sarıyer, a district of Istanbul

Gül böreği 'rose börek', also known as Yuvarlak böreği 'round or spiral börek' are rolled into small spirals and have a spicier filling than other börek.
Çiğ börek or Çibörek 'raw börek' is a half-round shaped börek, filled with raw minced meat and fried in oil on the concave side of the sac, very popular in places with a thriving Tatar community, such as Eskişehir, Polatlı and Konya.

Töbörek is another Tatar variety, similar to a çiğ börek, but baked either on the convex side of the sac, or in a masonry oven instead of being fried in oil.

Laz böreği, a specialty of the Rize region, is a sweet version, filled with muhallebi (Ottoman-style milk pudding or custard) and served sprinkled with powdered sugar. It similar with Greek Bougatsa.

Kürt Böreği is similar to Laz böreği, without the custard filling. It is also called sade (plain) börek and served with fine powdered sugar.

And my post today is one of common börek people make here, Spinach börek or Ispanaklı börek. Most of time I use cheese or peynir (turk) to mix with spinach as filling. But if you want to skip the cheese, feel free to double your spinach for the filling. And here my recipe for Ispanaklı peynirli börek.

Serve 5~6 person

  • ± 1 kg (5 sheets)  phyllo dough for börek
  • 1 large egg or 2 egg yolks
  • ± half cup thick yogurt
  • ± 1½ cup of milk
  • ± ½ cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • black and white sesame seed for sprinkle

for filling:
  • about 600~700 gr spinach
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (other vegetable oil)
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • Cheese about 150 gr --> I use local cheese calls "kaşarlı lor peynir" similar with cottage cheese. You use white cheese as well, crumbled
Note: you can skip using cheese but add more spinach as filling

How to make:

Filling; heat olive oil in a pan, stir fry chopped onion until it transparent and aromatic. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper. Stir fry until spinach slightly wilted, no need too long. Remove from heat and let it to room temperature.
For the sauce; beat off the egg in medium bowl, whisk in yogurt, milk and olive oil. Whisk to well combine.
Pre heat oven at 170~180 °C. Lightly brush a 25~30 cm round pan with margarine. Open one phyllo sheet and lay over the pan. Let some excess out of the pan for covering the whole börek later.
Take another phyllo sheet and just roughly tear apart into small piece and arrange roughly over the pan, it's oke if it piled each other.

Generously spoon the sauce and flush over the phyllo evenly ( you can use brush too for sprinkle the sauce). Add spincah filling partly over it then crumbled cheese, this is your 1st layer. 

Torn another phyllo sheet and roughly arrange over the filling, flush/ sprinkle with sauce, then spinach and crumbled cheese. Do to all phyllo sheet and filling, leaving some sauce for sprinkle on top later.

Cover entire börek with phyllo excess and generously brush with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with black and white sesame seed.  Bake in pre heat oven until it golden brown on surface (me; take about 40 minute). Remove from oven then immediately cover it with kitchen towel to cooling.

Serve warm or room temperature. Very much great for breakfast with olive and hot tea.
Or lunch time with some salad or warm soup. Yummy! ^,^



  1. I grew up with this kind of spinach dish! This one looks delicious!

  2. Gorgeous dish. The crust is absolutely perfect.

  3. Look at all those lovely crunchy phyllo layers - LOVE


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