Borek with Vegetables

Borek with Vegetables |

We saw an extraordinary vivacity in our neighborhood this evening. Some people were setting up a music system in front of our building, some were placing plastic chairs in the shape of a circle. These are signs of a ceremony, so we thought that there would be an engagement ceremony or a party for a bride and her friends (called “kına” in Turkish), which is a common tradition held in the evening followed by the wedding ceremony on the next day. However, we were wrong.

While were trying to guess what was happening, the door bell rang. It was our neighbor from the first floor. She invited us to the ceremony they were holding for their son, who would join the army to carry out his military service. ıt is compulsory in Turkey for all males at the age of 20 to complete this military service. It may last from 5 months to 15 months according to the education level of soldiers and some other reasons. If they are studying or working at this age, they can delay it until a certain age.

In Turkey, people hold a ceremony, generally outside their houses for their sons just before he leaves his home and goes to the city where he gets the training. There is a music system or a timpanist is hired. Neighbors, relatives, the boy’s friends all gather here and they dance. The boy’s family serve some drinks. People dance, especially the boy’s friends and family members. Older relatives give some pocket money to the young as a gift. Then his family takes him to the bus station to send him off. His friends and some nighbors accompany them and they go on singing songs and dancing until he gets on the bus.

I prepared a quick borek with what I had in my pantry and took it to my neighbor and she served it to their guests. She also served pilaf with chicken and cold ayran. It was a great party for their son before his military service.

Sebzeli Börek
–    1 stalk leek, chopped thin
–    1 potato, grated
–    2 carrots, grated
–    1 big onion,diced
–    1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
–    2 tbsp olive oil for sauting
–    3tbsp olive oil for spreading between sheets
–    1 egg
–    ½ cup yogurt
–    5 phyllo sheets

Saute all the vegetables in olive oil for about 10-15 minutes. add some salt.

Mix egg, 3 tbsp olive oil and yogurt.

Preheat the oven to 180C (400F)

Lay one of the phyllo sheets and spread the yogurt mixture on it. Lay the other sheet and spread the half of the sauted vegetables on it, then sprinkle the half of parmesan and lay another phyllo sheet on it. Brush it with the same egg and yogurt mixture. Lay the other sheet and spread the rest of sauted vegs and parmesan. Cover this with the last phyllo sheet and spread the rest yogurt mixture on it. Cut it with a knife as squares or triangles before putting it in oven so that its inner part also cooks. Cook this in oven for about 50 minutes.

By the way, I’ll be away for a few days as I’m traveling to Istanbul today for a work. Besides this work, I hope I can visit some good restaurants. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences.

Borek with Vegetables |


  1. says

    Those kinds of celebrations remind me of the one held in the Philippines. Since space is always an issue, people always hold parties and gatherings on the street and invite neighbors. Kind of like a neighborhood block-party here in the US.

    The borek looks very delicious!! I’d love to have been invited to that party.

  2. says

    thats so incredible that they just set up outside like that. That would never happen here!

    the borek looks very nice

  3. says

    What a wonderful, tasty looking savory pastry – I must eat more boreks. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

    What a great way to send someone a fellow off than to show the support of family, friends and neighbors.

  4. says

    To add to Jenn’s comment, in the Philippines, such a send-off is called a ‘despedida’ although it’s not for a specific farewell such as this occasion. It sounds like such a wonderful tradition to reassure the young man who might be uncertain or nervous about this next phase that he has so many people supporting him.

    And of course, your borek is outstanding! My apologies for being absent recently from your posts – I am trying to catch up on everything I’ve missed.

  5. says

    That looks gorgeous Zerrin..never tried anything with leeks and phyllo sheets,nice recipe…

  6. says

    You have such a nice blog, came from jens Finest foodie place.
    I think i will have to be here for a while looking to your recipes and that is what i am going to do too.

  7. says

    What a lovely blog! I learned about you via Jenn’s Finest Foodie Fridays.

    You’ve just gone into my subscriptions… can’t wait to come back!

  8. says

    Wow, I’m looking forward to trying this, it sounds like a great combination. Enjoy your trip and let us know about the great food you find.

  9. says

    Hello Zerrin,

    Don’t forget that I gave you an award a few days ago!! Please come over @my foodblog & pick it up! It is in my second latest post! Why? Because you deserve it!

    This Borek looks superbly delicious! MMMMM…

  10. says

    Jenn- I didn’t know that Philippines have a similar gathering. How nice! I always find such parties more sincere.

    Lauren- It gets more common in Summer months as it’s unlikely to rain in that time.

    Oyster- We make borek so often and we love to eat it at breakfast too.

    Tangled Noodle- I think events like “despedida” help people become more cheerful and happy, so I always love them more than the celebrations held in luxurious places.

    Vrinda- Finely chopped leek is great in phylollo sheets. You should try it.

    Happy Cook- Thank you for stopping by and I’m so happy to hear that you love it.

    Lisa- This send-off event helps the young men to feel more self confident, which they need before the training in army.

    Christelle- If you try one of Turkish borek recipes, I’m sure it will be one of your favorites.

    Jen- Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for subscribing. It would be great to hear the result if you try any of the recipes here.

    Diana- I’m back today and I’m planning to write a post about my trip in a few days.

    Sophie- Thank you so much Sophie! You know I was away, but I’m back today. I’ll write about this award in a few days.

    Natasha- I always love find these events more friendly.

  11. says

    Ever since I tasted pierogis, I have loved savory fillings. I like this version with the phyllo sheets and will be sure to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mary says

    Found your site yesterday and returned today! Your recipes look excellent. My U.S. daughter’s husband is Turkish and they live in SW Turkey. I’ve visited Turkey twice and the home-cooked and restaurant food is unbelievably good!! I try my best to re-create many dishes back home. Especially enjoyed your posting on Istanbul…brought back marvelous memories of our time there last year. Thanks for a great site…. I will return regularly. Oh, I am familiar with sumac (love it!) and use aleppo pepper also.

  13. Rich Dansereau says

    As I have tried (and loved) your Chard Potato Borek recipe, Thanks! I will definitely try this. The addition of Parmesan Cheese should provide an excellent flavor. I am sure to try this with a variety of veggies based on the seasons. Now I should have a whole new way to use many of my garden’s veggies once spring and summer arrives.

  14. Ity Tiwari says

    Great Recipe. Somewhere I feel it can taste like a samosa. Would love to try this one. Its so nice that you speak about your culture and traditions. Very interesting and warm.

    Best Regards

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