Bulgarian cheese banitza (banitsa) appetizers are similar to Serbian bureks and Greek cheese pies. They are traditionally served warm as a first course or in a "meze" (appetizer) spread, but they're also a popular vegetarian main course, snack, and street food. Also, banitzi can be a sweet dessert with apple and pumpkin among the popular fillings. This particular recipe is a take on a savory version.
- 2 cups crumbled, well-drained Bulgarian feta cheese
- 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 16 sheets filo dough (thawed)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
- Sea salt and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, combine cheese, yogurt, and eggs until smooth.
Fold one sheet of filo dough in half, so it measures 12 inches by 8 inches. Brush lightly with melted butter.
Portion out a 1/2-inch strip of filling along either the 12-inch edge if you want an "S"-shaped scroll, or along the 8-inch edge for a cigar-shaped roll and 1/4 inch away from the edges. Fold up bottom edge first, then sides and then roll away from yourself until you have a tight cylinder. Brush lightly with more melted butter.
Repeat with remaining 15 sheets of filo dough. Shape long cylinders into "S" shapes or leave short cylinders as is and place them on a parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped green onions, if desired.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.