Feta And Kashkaval Spirals

Turkish borek can be made into beautiful shapes, turning pastry into delicate roses. Here we take a shortcut to a less involved but still somewhat floral-inspired approach, using puff pastry to create beautiful crisp cheese borek. These make addictive party snacks. Feel free to make up more than you need and freeze, unbaked, for your next party. They can be transferred directly from the freezer to the oven and will bake with just a few minutes' extra oven time.

 Feta And Kashkaval Spirals i i
Deena Prichep for NPR
 Feta And Kashkaval Spirals
Deena Prichep for NPR

Makes 4 dozen small spirals

1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 pound kashkaval cheese, grated (if unavailable, substitute provolone or a similar mild semi-firm cheese)*

1/4 cup minced parsley

2 9-by-13-inch sheets puff pastry

4 large ripe tomatoes (optional, but nice)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the feta, kashkaval and parsley until well-combined.

Lightly dust a clean countertop with flour, and lay out one of the sheets of puff pastry. Sprinkle half of the filling over the pastry, spreading it evenly to the ends, leaving a 1-inch exposed lip along one long edge. Begin rolling from the opposite edge, tucking along the way to keep things snug, then pressing/rolling to secure the roll when finished.

Take a sharp knife, and cut 1/2-inch rounds. Take each spiral, and press it between two hands to flatten slightly and compact the filling into the dough. Place on a baking sheet (these will expand a bit, so leave room). Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they puff and brown. Transfer to a serving tray, slice the tomatoes into thin wedges, and top each spiral with a wedge of tomato (optional, but the bright, juicy tomato is a nice counterpoint to the crisp, cheesy spirals). Serve warm.

*Kashkaval, a somewhat firm sheep's milk cheese, can be found in markets that carry European products.

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