Savoury Künefe

I love the flavours in the pasirma börek in our Month of Turkish and am impressed by how deliciously easy the sweet kunefe is. So I wondered what would happen if we combined them. Here’s the answer: a simple, crunchy, messy, delicious savoury kunefe! Be inspired to vary the filling. As long as it’s relatively dry and cheesy you could add almost anything; keep it minimal though, the crunchy buttery kataifi pastry is the star. You can prepare this up to the point of turning it over then set aside and finish in a 200°C oven for 15 minutes or so when ready to serve, making it an easy do-ahead dish for entertaining. And the final touch, for me, is a drizzle of the wonderful yuzu honey from Rooftop Bees, a small producer on Sydney’s north shore; I love the way the citrus balances the sweetness of the honey and the sweetness balances the saltiness of the filling.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 100g pastirma
  • 180g kadayifi pastry
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 50g grape tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 6)
  • 1 long green chilli, seeded and very finely sliced
  • 100g kasar cheese, grated
  • Yuzu honey, for drizzling (optional)
  • Salad, for serving (see video)
Method
  1. Pull pastirma into long shreds, set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the pastry, put it in a bowl and pull it apart with your fingers into fine strands.
  3. Add most of the butter and mix with your hands until completely combined.
  4. Divide the pastry in half.
  5. Brush about half the remaining butter onto the base of a frying pan or other flameproof dish (about 25cm diameter).
  6. Spread half the pastry evenly over the pan and press it down firmly.
  7. Spread half the pastirma evenly over the top, leaving a small margin around the edge.
  8. Add half the tomato and chilli then half the cheese.
  9. Repeat the layering using remaining ingredients.
  10. Spread the other half of the pastry over the top, wrapping it down the sides to encase the filling. Press gently but firmly to flatten it.
  11. Place the pan over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the base is golden brown.
  12. Place a plate on top of the pan and tip the pan and plate over so the pastry stack tips onto the plate.
  13. Brush remaining butter over the base of the pan.
  14. Slide the pastry stack back into the pan, uncooked side down, and cook for a further 5–8 minutes or so, until golden, pressing it down gently to ensure the base browns evenly.
  15. Remove from heat and drizzle a little honey over the top if you like.
  16. Serve hot with salad on the side.

Like this recipe? You’ll love A Month of Turkish Inspired by Somer Sivrioğlu.

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