Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cavolo Nero and Feta Filo Pastry- Banitza-Style

Banitza is the name of a pastry made with filo sheets and it's so much popular in my native Bulgaria! Everybody can make it, especially if with ready-made filo sheets, and the filling can literally be made of everything - from savoury to sweet, with fruit or vegetables, from apples, pumpkins, raisins and nuts, to cabbage, spinach, leeks, onions, meat, feta and so on.

Cavolo Nero & Feta Filo Pastry Bulgarian banitza phylo savoury kale curly cheese баница точени кори кисело мляко рецепта

However, this excellent choice still leaves room for inspiration and imagination and when I came across the cavolo nero in the shop, which is a kind of Italian cabbage looking like something between kale and spinach with a darker leaves, I immediately had the idea how to use it.
The taste is perfect as the cavolo's strong taste works so perfectly with the Greek feta - made of sheep and goat's milk only.
An interesting tip is the use of a cup of carbonated water, which should give the pastry its fluffy consistency.


400 gr cavolo nero shredded
olive oil

200 gr feta cheese
400 gr filo sheets

3 medium-sized eggs
1 cup plain carbonated (soda) water


First sweat the cavolo nero in a pan with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and a little bit of salt. Add some 100 ml of water if needed (it probably will be).
Cook until tender and leave aside to cool.
Oil an oven proof dish about 30 cm x 20 cm and line with a folded filo sheet. Add evenly about 1 tbsp oil and place another folded filo sheet on top. Then sprinkle with the pre-cooked cavolo nero, add crumbled feta and cover it another folded filo sheet. Oil the filo, add cavolo nero and feta again and so on until the filling ends. On top cover with two folded filo sheets, evenly oiled.
Cut to rectangular shapes with a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

In a bowl beat the eggs very well ad add the carbonated water. Pour over the previously cut pastry and bake immediately for some 30-40 minutes or so, until golden brown and looking properly cooked.

Serve with natural plain yogurt sprinkled with fresh dill.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I'm very interested to see this as my mother in law makes a Gibanica (my father in law is Serbian) and I have just made a spinach version this week.

Interesting to see how different languages spell it but they seem to say it the same!

Sneige said...

Yes, Balkan cuisine is very similar. The Greeks have it as tiropita (spanakopita) and the Turks as borek, which is the same thing in general.
Do your in-laws use the ready-made filo sheets or do they make the dough and roll after that?
The most authentic banitza should be with home-made and rolled dough, my grand-mothers always did that.

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