Burek With Cashew Cheese & Swiss-Chard

I loooove all pastries equally. However, I have a particular weakness for savory stuffed pastries. Pastries that have the letters “BRK” in the name, like burek and burekas. Pastries that, when you bite into their flaky dough, make a delicious breaking sound.

About the dough: you can use store-bought filo or puff pastry doughs, but just so you know, most of them contain unfriendly ingredients and additives such as corn starch, canola oil, preservatives, and sugar (dextrose and maltodextrin). This semi-filo dough requires only 3 ingredients, flour, salt, and olive oil, and needs only 20 minutes resting time.

The filling: you can fill the pastries with any solid cheese such as labneh, ricotta and feta but don’t use vegan feta cheese. It becomes oil in high heat. My vegan cashew ricotta is easy to make, though you do need prepare it 1 day it in advance.

You can freeze the pastries up to a month and warm them up for lunch when I don’t feel like making something. Or have it for dinner with a crunchy salad.

The process of making these pastries – stretching the dough on the counter and stuffing it – is very relaxing. So if you’re restless, put your phone on airplane mode, play some relaxing music, not in your earbuds, wipe your counter and make them.

They should be slightly crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and overall addictive. Don’t forget to let me know how they came out.

Recipe is inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks, The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren.

Burek With Swiss-Chard & Cashew Cheese

This easy Balkan-Inspired pastry dough is much healthier than store bought filo or puff pastry doughs. For a sweet version: spread the dough with vegan cashew paste and maple syrup.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: Bread, Plant-Based
Servings: 4
Author: Shelly


For the dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil

For the filling

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - finely sliced
  • 1 big bunch of Swiss chard or another leafy green you like - sliced finely (hard stems, removed)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cashew labneh - or any other soft cheese you like
  • ½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder – optional

Sesame or poppy seeds are optional


    • Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in 2/3 cup of water. Slowly work the flour and water together for five minutes until a dough forms.
    • Divide the pastry dough in four, roll each piece into a ball and put back in the bowl. Cover with a damp dish towel, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, make the filling: put a generous splash of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the leaves and season to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it cool a bit. Mix with the cheese.
    • Drain the cashews and put them in a blender. Add the rest of the cashew “cheese” ingredients. Add ½ cup filtered water and blend until smooth. Pour ¾ of the cream into the filling and keep the rest for a sweet pastry.
    • Oil the counter. Put 1 ball of dough on the counter, drizzle it with olive oil, and start to stretch it gently with your hands into a large, filo-thin circle, about 12 inches. Brush the dough with olive oil. Leaving a 2 inch gap at the edge, spoon a line of filling in a 1 – 1½ inch wide strip across the width of the pastry.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
    • Coil one end of the rolled pastry inward into a spiral. Join the ends of the rolls by squeezing the dough together.
    • Brush with olive oil and and sprinkle sesame or poopy seeds. Bake for 30 minutes, checking every now and then, until golden brown.

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