Cheesy, buttery, crispy, light, flaky…these are just a few delicious words that describe by far one of the most popular Mezza dishes in Middle Eastern Culture, the Spinach Boereg. Here at Sayat Nova we have always prided ourselves on making each & every dish from scratch, and our Boereg are no exception. Many guests who are unfamiliar with traditional Middle Eastern food ask about the word Boereg, so for those of you new to our Armenian table, let us teach you a little about our beloved Boereg.
The word Boereg is used throughout Middle Eastern culture to define those crispy triangular phyllo appetizers filled with things like Spinach & Cheese, basically any Middle Eastern Pastries made with phyllo dough can be called Boereg. The spelling can vary & depends on the region, the shape, and how they are prepared…in other words, potat-O potat-OH, everyone spells it differently. Here at Sayat Nova we use the spelling Boereg.
“Spinach” Boereg are generally a collective favorite and popular menu item among our guests & Middle Easterns in general, in fact some would call the Spinach Boereg the ONLY way to start an Armenian meal. Just ask Uncle George, who has said to have eaten more than 10 in one sitting at Christmas before! Considering the level of love for this authentic Armenian appetizer, we decided to share our house recipe so you can indulge the Middle Eastern Cook in you!
Sayat Nova Spinach Boereg
1 Lb. spinach
8 ounces shredded brick cheese
1 small onion diced
1 egg beaten
2 tsp. Sumac (Middle Eastern Spice/Optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Package of Phyllo
½ Cup of Butter
Cook your spinach, and then remove all the excess water by wrapping spinach in a clean dish towel & ring out all the excess liquid. Once you’re done, chop your spinach and combine with shredded cheese, onion, egg and seasonings. On a sheet pan roll out spinach into 1-2 inch round meatballs ahead of time so that once you start working with your phyllo you can quickly fill your pastry. Phyllo is very delicate & can dry out so it is important to have everything ready once you start wrapping your triangles.
Once your spinach is portioned out like the picture below, you can open up your thawed phyllo and lay it out. Brush the 1st sheet with butter and fold it in half, then half again until it is a long rectangle shape. Place your Spinach ball at one end of the rectangle and wrap the bottom corner up towards the top until you start to see the triangular shape. Then take the top corner and fold it across, continue this pattern of folding until you reach the end of your phyllo and you will have your first Boereg. Once you’re done seal the edge with a bit of butter, place triangle on a buttered or parchment covered baking sheet, brush exterior of the Boereg with butter and cover with a towel. Continue making Boereg until you run out of ingredients!