Month of July: “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume” Recipe: Creamy Feta and Caramelized Leek Borek

“You want to perform a miracle? Forgive yourself.” Rune Lazuli

I have to get organized in this new kitchen. It’s taking more time than I had planned to get it stocked and outfitted. I am shuttling food processors, mixers and utensils back and forth between two kitchens. I am not complaining! I love this space and I love being all alone with no one to disturb me. No loving husband, no grumpy teenage stepchildren, no needy thirteen year old pug, just me and my thoughts. Can I add how desperately needed this space has already become?

On my way to find fresh oregano for these absolutely delicious savory treats, I realized at the end of my new street a sign commanding no turn on red but I did (twice!) Would have been no big deal if it wasn’t for a glaring traffic camera I somehow missed both times. Arrrggg!! Why do I always learn things the hard way? I thought about patience while driving and wondered why I have been such an impatient person my whole life.

Later when I was making these filo boreks I noticed how forgiving they were to make, easily covering imperfections with each twist and turn. And then I thought, why am I always so hard on myself?? It was a real moment of awareness, me alone with these triangular pastries revealing tiny wordless glimmers of newfound insight. Inwardly I smiled. My world is small and protective right now and I have no need to explain it to anyone. Damn that feels good!

Ingredients: 3 leeks white and pale parts finely sliced, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup chicken stock, 1 bay leaf, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, 7 ounces of feta crumbled, 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano (don’t substitute dry if you don’t have to, the fresh gives such a lovely floral note), 8 sheets of filo thawed, melted butter for brushing and seeds such as poppy, hemp or black sesame.

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Saute the leeks, garlic and sugar in the melted butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat stirring constantly. Add the stock, bay leaf and seasoning and cook for about 10 minutes until leeks are tender. Remove bay leaf, cool and add cheese and oregano.
  2. Spread a sheet of filo dough on a work surface and cut lengthwise in three sections. Keep the remaining filo covered under a damp kitchen towel. Each strip will make 1 borek.
  3. Brush the filo with melted butter and place about a tablespoon of filling in corner and fold this corner up to form a triangle. Fold over again and continue until you have a triangular pastry. I watched some YouTube videos that were quite helpful to get the idea. Repeat, makes up to 20 or more.
  4. Arrange the boreks on a baking sheet and brush with more melted butter and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes, until golden brown.

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