appetizer, Brunch, Food, Recipes, Snack

Burekitas with Zucchini-Tomato filling

Burekitas de Handrajo Ronit PensoThe Sephardic cuisine offers quite a few versions for Burekitas, small hand pastries, with various types of dough and fillings (check THIS post for more information about them).Of all the fillings, the potato-cheese is the most familiar outside Sephardic households, while the zucchini (or eggplant) and tomato one, is the most preferred one by the inner circles of those in the know. Maybe the Ladino/Spanish name for this filling, “Handrajo”, which means “rags”, and the fact it takes longer to prepare, are the reasons for why it is less known. However, it turns out that “rags” can be very tasty and definitely worth the little work involved. Try it and enjoy.

* Obviously, any other fillings can be used instead of the one shown here, though I’m quite sure that once you’ll try this one, it will become your preferred filling as well.
* The filling can be made  up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge, in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.
* The baked pastries freeze well, in an airtight container, for up to a month. For best results, reheat them in a toaster oven, NOT the microwave.
* For more background information about the Sephardic origins, check under THIS post.

Makes: 35
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time for the filling: 20 minutes
Chilling time for the dough: 1 hour
Baking time: 20-25 minutes

For the filling:
3 medium white zucchini, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
1 medium tomato, coarsely grated, skin removed
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs light olive oil
For the dough:
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
1 cup sour cream (or thick yogurt, or 9% Quark cheese)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
For topping
1 L egg beaten with 1 tsp water
2 Tbs sesame seeds

1. The filling: mix all the ingredients in a large pan and cook over medium-high heat, mixing occasionally, about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked though and the liquids evaporated. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool to room temperature before using.

2. The dough: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead lightly. Wrap with wax paper and place in the fridge for 1 hour and up to a day. Bring to room temperature before rolling.

3. Preheat the oven to 3655F (185C). Line baking pans with baking paper.
4. Divide the dough in two. Roll one portion on a lightly floured work space, to a thickness of about 0.2″ (0.5cm). Using a 3” (7.5cm) cookie cutter, cut out dough discs. Place 1 tsp of the filling on each circle and fold. Twist the ends with your fingers and place in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough and scraps. Brush the pastries with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastries are lightly browned.

51 thoughts on “Burekitas with Zucchini-Tomato filling”

  1. Ronit, I was so excited to see this recipe. I usually make my handrajo with a combination of eggplant and zucchini but the dough is totally different. I can’t wait to try this it sounds great!
    Will try it right after Pesach. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like everything about this recipe Ronit – that dough sounds wonderful using sour cream. I’ve learned something new and plan to check out the link as to its Sephardic origins. I think you’re right – I’ll be happy with the filling you used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tracey, I’m glad you liked these tasty pastries. The dough is really easy to prepare and can be used in different dishes. I’m totally with you when it comes to preparing foods in advance. It makes for entertaining so much more enjoyable! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m having an instant hunger attack looking at these little pastries. They remind me a little of the empanadillas we have in Spain. And quark gives a nice and flakey texture I love. Thanks Ronit, I’ll try these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Myra, I’m glad you liked these pastries. They are indeed quite similar to the empanadillas, as the origin of Sephardic cuisine and the Ladino language is actually in Spain!
      The use of Quark cheese started only when in Israel, where the cheese was introduced by the German Templers settlers. So by now it’s a typical mish-mash Israeli version… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always admire these little “foldover” pastries, but never seem to actually put forth the effort to make them. The dough looks really good for any kind of filling.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that, though once you start it really doesn’t take that long.
      The dough is one of my go-to quick and easy ones. It’s also great for making roulades, which I usually fill with a mix of spinach and cheeses, or sauteed mushrooms and onions. Very tasty! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ruth, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I can definitely see how this tasty filling can help use some of your bountiful summer harvest! I hope you’ll enjoy the results. I’ll be happy to hear your comments. 🙂


  5. They look delicious, and I am tempted to try them right after Pesach. I’ve made various burekas using phyllo dough, which is pareve, and I’ve never made flaky dough with sour cream. I wonder if Tofutti Sour Supreme will do the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

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