Bulgarian Recipe – Banitsa
Banitsa . . . a famous traditional Bulgarian dish eaten at any meal
Banitsa (pronounced BAH-nit-sa) is a traditional Bulgarian pastry prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of sirene (white cheese) between filo pastry and then baking it in an oven.
Banitsa is served for breakfast with plain yogurt. It can be eaten hot or cold. Another popular version is banitsa with spinach (spanachena banitsa).
Take 12 pastry sheets (phyllo). Grease bottom of a pan with butter or oil. Brush 3 sheets with butter. Place sheets one atop the other. Spread 1/3 of filling. Top with 2 more sheets, each brushed with butter or oil. Spread second third of filling. Repeat one more time. Top last layer of filling with 3 oiled sheets. Bake in a moderate oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean
pinch of baking soda
1/4 kg sirene (white cheese)
Beat eggs, adding baking soda, keep beating and add crumbed (or grated or crushed) cheese.
1/2 kg spinach
1/2 cup yogurt
1 coffee cup oil (or melted butter)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup crumbed sirene (white cheese)
1. Squeeze gently water from spinach (washed and cut in strips). Stew in oil (or melted butter). Leave to cool.
2. Stir in cheese, eggs and yogurt.
(Adapted from "Bulgarian Cuisine" by Dimitar Mantov, Sofia, 2002)