Family Recipes I Cherish | Banitsa

Are You Ready for 2015?

One of my favorite Bulgarian traditions for New Years is the making of banitsa with fortunes. What is banitsa, you ask? Banitsa (or, Баница in Bulgarian) is a traditional Bulgarian food prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of cheese between fillo pastry and then baking it in an oven. I like to call it a salty baklava. It is delicious! Why the fortunes? The tradition says you insert fortunes into the pastry and draw your luck for next year... Typical fortunes include love, new home, education, baby, etc. (FYI, I got love for next year... go figure). Below is how you can make it yourself (it is super easy to make and does not take more than 10 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to bake). 


1 stick of butter

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

6 oz feta cheese

2 tbsp plain yogurt

1 box fillo dough


Melt the stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the filling, whisk the eggs then stir in yogurt and feta. Set aside.

To prepare the fillo, make sure you thaw it completely - it has to feel flexible to the touch. Spread out the dough on a flat surface without breaking away the sheets of fillo. Then go through the following exercise: brush a sheet of fillo with melted butter, spread a strip of filling in center, roll dough along the long edge and arrange in a circular dish starting from the outside and working your way in. Once the pan is full, brush butter all over. It will end up looking like this:

Stick in the oven for 30 minutes then brush the top with egg yolk and leave in oven for 10 more minutes. And below is what it looks like when all done! Hope you get to try and enjoy this and Happy New Year!!

Posted on December 31, 2014 and filed under Test Kitchen.