Turkish cuisine is filled with a number of savoury pastry dishes. The traditional thin pastry dough is called yufka and is extremely thin and crisp when baked. It is an art form to make yufka, usually, it is made by old grandmothers who learned this art from their families. Today the traditional yufka pastry is being substituted by commercial filo pastry, it is an acceptable but not the same.
The family of savoury Turkish pastries can also be divided into boreks and gölzeme, and the difference is intheir cooking techniques. Borek are usually baked and gölzeme are usually fried in butter on a pan. However, for this recipe I baked this dish to both make it healthier and to easier to make.
This is lovely dish that is both light and delicate. It has a non-traditional twist to it because of the Gruyere cheese, rather than the favoured feta. the pastry is crisp and the cheese melts to a gooey consistency that pairs well with the spinach. Most folks think that this will be a boring dish that needs a dip to bring alive. But it is a lovely dish with subtle flavours. I could easily eat a dozen of these is a sitting!
Greg and Lucy Malouf have traveled across the Middle East extensively, publishing a number of specialized cookbooks along their journey. This cookbook is one of my favorites, a thick volume filled with amazing recipes, like this one, and photographs. This cookbook will make you want to get out to the closest Mediterranean store (or on Amazon) and order a pantry full of new ingredients for this cuisine. I have cooked a few, definitely not enough, recipes from this book and each is spectacular. I need to complete the collection of their cookbooks, oh I wish I had a larger cookbook budget. This book is for those who are looking for spectacular Middle Eastern cuisine.
For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.
2 bunches spinach
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
7 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
Butter, as needed
Bring the water with salt to a boil. Blanch the spinach for 1 minute till soft and a deep green colour. Rinse out is cold water to keep the bright green colour. When cooled press the spinach firmly to remove all the water. Chop finely.
Mix the spinach, garlic, salt, pepper and Gruyere. be careful, the cheese is also quite salty.
Cut the filo into sheets that are 2 inches wide and 5 inches long. Take a sheet and add a tablespoon of the spinach mix to the bottom. Fold the pastry into a triangle and fold up till the end. Repeat till all the filling has been used up.
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Bush the pastries with melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes till the pastries are browned. Serve immediately.