Stuffed Pastry with Swiss Chard reicpe
Stuffed Pastry with Swiss Chard and Feta
Prep Time
1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

Stuffed pastry with Swiss chard and feta cheese makes a great appetizer or serve for any meal of the day. This recipe is an adaption of a traditional Israeli snack called Bureka. Serve with yogurt tahini spread, olives, and hard-boiled eggs, to create the perfect al fresco meal. Please don't be discouraged by the long prep time. Most of the prep time is waiting for the dough to chill, or the vegetables to cool. With the cooling and chilling time in mind, just make sure you have plenty of time to make these savory stuffed pastries. This stuffed pastry recipe can be made in advance and frozen for up to one month for your convenience. This recipe is slightly adapted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft

Course: Appetizer, Light Supper, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Burekas, stuffed pastry
Servings: 5 Burekas
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
Swiss Chard Filling
  • 12 oz 342 g Swiss chard
  • 5 oz 142 g spinach, tough stems removed
  • 1 TB 100 g olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely minced
  • 2 celery stalks and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tomato seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Puff Pastry
  • 1 lb 455 g store-bought puff pastry - thawed if frozen
  • All-purpose flour for rolling the pastry dough
Final Assembly
  • 1 1/4 cups 150 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TB water
  • For Garnishing
  • Garnish with sesame seeds poppy seeds, everything bagel mixture, or dried herbs and spices
Instructions
Swiss Chard Filling
  1. Clean the Swiss Chard and remove the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) chunks and set aside. Stack the chard leaves on top of each other and slice across the width into 1 inch (3 cm) ribbons. Then cut the ribbons in half across the width. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the spinach the same as the Swiss Chard, but discard the stems. If you are using baby spinach there is no need to chop the leaves. However, remove any long stems from the baby spinach.
  3. Turn the heat to medium and heat the olive oil in a large 10-inch skillet. Add the minced onion, celery and Swiss chard stems and 1/4 tsp of Kosher salt to the skillet and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent browning.

  4. Add the chopped tomato, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper. Cook the vegetables until the tomatoes break down about 2 - 3 minutes. Stir the vegetables frequently while they are cooking.
  5. Add half of the Swiss chard greens and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, and stir and cook until the leaves have wilted. Once the first batch cooks down, add the remaining Swiss Chard and cook until it is all wilted.

  6. Scrape in the spinach leaves in the skillet with the vegetables in two batches. Once the spinach is heated and wilted, add the lemon juice. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and other seasonings if needed. Remember, the cheese in the filling will add a lot of salt to the bureka, so keep that in mind when you are tasting the vegetables. 

  7. Transfer the filling to a bowl and cool completely. The cooked vegetables can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for several hours.
  8. Once cooled, place the vegetables in a fine mesh strainer and drain out any excess water. Gently press down on the vegetables without squishing them.
Prepare the Puff Pastry
  1. Make the egg wash. In a small bowl beat the egg, water and a pinch of salt until completely combined. Set aside.
  2. Prepare two large rimmed baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Set the puff pastry on the floured surface, long side facing you, and lightly flour the top of the pastry. Gently roll the pastry into a rectangle about 20 inches (51 cm) by 12 inches (30.5 cm) and 1/16 inch thick. When you roll out the pastry dough, roll the pin in one direction beginning from about 1/3 of the way up from the side closest to you. Switch directions and roll the pin across the width in one direction. And switch again. Turn the pastry over and roll in one direction from each side. Repeat this until you have an even shaped rectangle about 1/16 inch thick. Rolling the pin back and forth confuses the dough and you do not get an even stretch. Be careful not to overwork the dough because it could get too warm. If the dough gets sticky and hard to work with, place on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Assembly, Chill and Bake
  1. Divide the dough into 5 strips across the width of the pastry dough, about 4 inches (10 cm) wide and 12 inches (30.5 cm) long. Brush each strip with the egg wash. Reserve the egg wash for later.
  2. Divide the sautéed vegetables into 5 equal portions about 1/2 cup (120 ml). Spread the Swiss chard mixture evenly down the middle of each strip. Add about a shy 1/4 cup (60 ml) of feta cheese crumbles on top of the vegetables. (If the dough is difficult to work with, chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.)
  3. Fold the right side of the pastry strip over the filling and even with the left side of the pastry, like closing a book from the back to the front. Press on the edges and seal. Turn the filled pastry seam side down.
  4. Twist each pastry into a spiral and make them into a U shape. Place each pastry on the prepared baking sheets. Place in the refrigerator and chill for one hour. Or place in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to 400°F (200°C / Gas Mark 6). If you have baking stones add them on the oven racks when you turn the oven on. Or turn a rimmed baking sheet large enough for two or three bureka to fit, upside down on an oven rack. The stones or the baking sheet will get good and hot and help create a crisp crust. If you only have one stone bake the burekas in batches.

  6. Brush the burekas with the egg wash and garnish with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, or herbs and spices of your liking. Bake until the burekas are golden brown 30 - 35 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.
  7. Burekas are best eaten the same day they are made. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.