A Gentleman´s Kitchen

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Cheese, Olive and Chili Bourekas

Bourekas are popular savoury pastry snacks of  Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern origin. Popular fillings include cheese, spinach or potato, and the pastry can be either filo or puff pastry. This particular variation, which is my personal favourite and (as far as I’m aware) my own invention, uses frozen puff pastry.
Bourekas are easy to make, scrumptious, and the perfect finger food to go with drinks at parties this time of the year (or any time). Try them, you’ll like them. This recipe makes 20.


1 pack frozen puff pastry (450 g/ 1 lb) (the make I use contains 2 rolls of frozen pastry)
450 g (1 lb) cottage cheese
120 g (¼ lb) mature yellow cheese, e.g. cheddar, finely grated
20 green olives stuffed with chillies, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg for filling
1 medium egg, beaten, for glazing
sesame seeds
sea salt flakes (optional)


  1. Make the filling first by pressing the cottage cheese through a fine sieve to extract as much liquid as possible, and then combining with the grated yellow cheese, the large egg and finely chopped olives with chillies. Season to taste (but remember that the olives themselves are quite salty).
  2. Defrost the pastry and roll out to form two rectangular sheets, each approx. 40 cm x 25 cm (15" x 10"). Cut each rectangle lengthways in 2 and breadthways in 5, thereby forming 10 small rectangles, each of 8 cm x 12.5 cm (3" x 5").
  3. Place a spoonful of the filling in one half (not the centre!) of each small rectangle.
  4. Brush the edge of the same half with the beaten egg (this helps the pastry to stick together, thereby preventing the filling from oozing out), and fold over the other half of the pastry rectangle. Crimp the edges to seal.
  5. Brush on top with beaten egg and scatter with sesame seeds. (It’s also possible to scatter a few flakes of sea salt).
  6. Put on lightly greased trays and bake in the oven at 210°C (410°F) for 15-20 minutes or until risen and golden brown.
  7. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. If any of the filling has come out, use a knife to push it back into the pastry shell.

They’re best served warm. In the unlikely event any are left over, they freeze excellently.