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. They are popular as a vegetarian main course, snack and street food. Banitzi also can be a sweet dessert with apple and pumpkin among the fillings.
Makes 16 banitzi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 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, if desired
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. 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.