Torn banitsa with pesto
1 packet filo pastry, 400 g
300 g feta cheese (slightly desalted in a bowl of water)
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 pinch of salt and baking soda
Neutral oil (rapeseed, sunflower)
1 bunch of basil
3-4 sprigs of parsley and dill
10-12 spinach leaves
2 cloves of garlic
30 g of freshly roasted and peeled hazelnuts
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Between 150 and 200 ml of light olive oil or rapeseed oil
First prepare the pesto. Place all ingredients from the second group in a deep jar (of 900 ml or 1 liter). Blend them all until thick and smooth pesto. Adjust the thickness by adding more parmesan and hazelnuts. It must be as thick as a spreading paste. Close the jar and refrigerate. The quantity is more than the one needed. Left over pesto can be enjoyed with something else. In another bowl, combine the cheese, yogurt, eggs and spices (inclufding the baking soda).
Butter a round and deep cooking dish (26 cm in diameter). Cover the bottom with 2 sheets of filo pastry. Let it fall freely off the dish. Then tear and tip over 3 other sheets. Here and there, brush with oil, but not much. Then, spread over 2-3 tablespoons of pesto. After that, tear two other sheets of filo pastry on it and spread half of the egg mixture. Continue repeating this pattern – 3 shredded sheets of filo, pesto, 1 shredded sheet of filo, grated parmesan, 1 sheet, the rest of the egg mixture, 3 sheets of filo, pesto, 2 final sheets. Somewhere towards the upper layers, trim the ends of filo pastry that exceed the dish and slide them in between.
Cut the banitsa into portions and tuck butter dices in the slits. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C. The banitsa should be golden on top and well cooked below. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.