Banitsa is served on a wheel-thrown and altered stoneware plate from Ryan Greenheck. Plate provided by Local Pottery, Norwell.

  • 5 ounces butter, divided
  • 1 big bunch scallions or 4 baby leeks, chopped
  • 1 pound feta (or Bulgarian sirene cheese, if you can get it), crumbled
  • 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 pound package filo pastry, thawed in fridge

In a frying pan over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the scallions or leeks and cook just until beginning to wilt and soften—no browning at all. Scrape the pan into a bowl. Put the remaining butter in the same pan and let it melt, then turn off the heat.

Stir the cheese and yogurt into the scallions or leeks. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the interior of a 9” x 13” pan with some of the butter.

Lay a sheet of filo into the pan—half should fit in nicely. Brush with butter, then fold over and butter the top of the sheet. Repeat with 2 more sheets, to make an additional 4 layers. Spread about half the filling over the pastry, then layer on another 4 buttered layers, followed by the remaining filling, followed by another 6-layer batch of filo. Brush all over with butter. Cut through into serving pieces and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm or room temperature, with a glass of wine or beer, or for breakfast.

Comforting Surprises in Bulgaria
By Adam Centamore

Still reeling from the jet lag caused by 11 hours of flying and the stress of a painfully short layover in London, I sat down for my first meal in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sitting at a small outdoor cafe table on the popular Vitosha Street, the bright sunshine helped clear my head from all the travel. Continue reading here…