This recipe is inspired by phyllo pastry and spinach swirl I tasted at a Mediterranean delicatessen in Herne Hill, the pastry was ever so flaky and buttery. In my interpretation, I use a mixture of cavolo nero and spinach which adds extra texture. Borek recipes vary in appearance by region across Cyprus, Turkey and the Middle East, but I think this snail shape is the most impressive. This can be eaten for lunch or dinner, even as part of a mezze selection with stuffed vine leaves, Greek salad and hummus.
300g of cavolo nero, (weight with stalks)
200g of baby spinach
220g pack of filo pastry
200g of feta
100g of butter, melted
1 egg, and 1 egg yolk, beaten lightly with a fork
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Strip the cavolo nero leaves from the stalks, blanch them for 1 minute in boiling water. in the last 20 seconds add the spinach and then drain. Dry the leaves thoroughly by pressing them between two clean tea towels and placing something heavy (like a wooden chopping board) on top for a few minutes.
Chop the leaves finely and mix with the cheese and a few pinches of pepper for seasoning.
Take a sheet of filo, place on a clean work surface and brush with melted butter. Lay another on top. Then, on one side of the pastry, brush a little more melted butter and lay a fresh sheet of filo on top, so that it overlaps slightly with the two sheets already there (the idea is to make a one large sheet of pastry). In the end you will have many pieces of double layered filo, overlapping in a line.
On the bottom edge of the filo, begin to lay out your filling in a long snake, continuing right to the other end of the pastry.
Then, carefully roll the pastry up and around the filling until you have one long snake of pastry filled with the cavolo nero, spinach and cheese. The snake can then be curled around and placed in a baking tray. Don’t worry if your tin isn’t the right size or shape
Brush the borek with the egg and cook for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.