The 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.
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
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 circles out of the dough. 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.