Boreks are Turkish pastries consisting of filo sheets stuffed with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings and can take on many different shapes. The most common are found with spinach and feta. I made these using odd leftovers found in the fridge, but the same can be adapted to any veg. The feta, mint and lemon give the more traditional and salty flavour and the ricotta adds to the delicious creaminess. Omit the cheeses and substitute the butter for olive oil for a vegan alternative.
Makes 6 snails
1 leek, finely sliced
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 zucchini, cut into 1cm
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tbsp za’atar spice mix
200g feta, crumbled
1 lemon, zested
20g mint chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 filo pastry sheets
150g butter, melted
Black sesame seeds
1. Place a small saucepan of salted water on to boil. Cut the potatoes into 2cm chunks and boil for 10 minutes until softened. A cutlery knife should easily pierce through. Drain off the water and leave to steam dry for a few minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the leek and onion with a good pinch of salt and fry for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
3. Add the zucchini, garlic and zaatar and cook all together until softened, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes to the pan and using a potato masher, lightly crush them into the mix, retaining some shape. Fry all together for 2 minutes, ensuring the mix is evenly distributed.
5. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Stir through the lemon zest, mint, ricotta and feta, being careful not to break up the feta too much. Taste and season with salt and pepper before adding the egg.
6. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4. Lightly oil a 25x30cm baking tray.
7. Melt the butter in a small bowl with a pastry brush. Lay out 1 filo sheet onto a work surface and brush all over with the butter. Lay a second sheet on the top and brush again. While working, keep a damp tea towel covering the rest of the filo pastry as it will dry out.
8. Spoon the filling carefully along the longest side of the sheet, leaving a 5cm gap from the bottom of the sheet. Carefully wrap the filo up and around the filling and use your fingers to gently press into a sausage shape all the way along the pastry sheet.
9. Starting from the longest end, roll the pastry over the filling and roll up to form a long sausage shape. Then roll in on itself to form a snail. Arrange in the baking tray and brush the tops once more with butter before sprinkling the sesame seeds over the top.
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until risen, crispy and golden all over.
11. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving warm.
Spoon the filling long the long end of the pastry and roll up to form a snail shape.