Easy bourekas recipe with zhug and pickles from Mezze

Bourekas from Mezze

We were delighted to have Mezze back at this year’s Waterford Harvest Festival with the Taste Waterford Kitchen.

Nicola and Dvir, along with their son Oran, and helping hands from the audience, created bourekas – cheesy puff pastry parcels, with Knockalara and Knockanore cheeses, zhug and pickles – perfect for lunch boxes and picnics.

They inspire crowds wherever they go – and these latest dishes were another hit.

In fact, the audience asked for the recipes – so here they are – let us know how you get on!

From Mezze…

These puff pastry parcels are always a hit in our house. They’re great fresh out of the oven but they also work well for lunchboxes or picnics. You can prep them the night before, refrigerate them and bake in the morning. I mix in some seaweed for some added nutrients and umami, but you could add pesto or chopped spinach. It’s an easy one to make and get the kids involved in too.

These are great as is or you can serve them the Israeli way: split the bourekas in half at the seam, spread with some zhug (spicy coriander and chilli sauce) and add a sliced boiled egg and a sprinkle of pepper. Enjoy with a chopped salad or pickles.

Makes 6 bourekas to serve 3–6


100g Knockanore smoked cheddar, grated

100g Knockalara soft sheep’s milk cheese, crumbled

50g cream cheese

1 free-range egg, beaten

¹/² teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried seaweed flakes (optional)

375g puff pastry, defrosted if frozen and left out of the fridge for 30 minutes prior to using

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and/or dried seaweed flakes, to sprinkle on top.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or dust it with a little flour.

Mix the cheeses with two-thirds of the beaten egg and the pepper and dried seaweed flakes (if using).

Roll out the puff pastry and cut it into six squares. If they are still too rectangular after cutting, roll them out a bit again to create a square.

Brush the edges of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg. Add 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons of filling to the corner of each square, then fold it up to the opposite corner to make a triangle, pushing the edges down firmly with your fingers to seal.

Brush the top with egg and sprinkle on some sesame or poppy seeds or seaweed flakes.

Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Allow to cool completely before packing into lunchboxes.


To make these ahead, buy fresh pastry, make up the bourekas and freeze unbaked. Bake from frozen when needed, adding 5–10 more minutes’ baking time.

If you have any leftover filling, you can use it to make an omelette or toasted cheese sandwich.


Easy to whizz up, this Yemeni hot sauce is a staple in our house and in our deli. It’s served alongside mezze, with falafel, in burgers, mixed with mayo for the ultimate chip dip and anything else in between.


90g fresh coriander (including the stalks)

5 garlic cloves

3 fresh red chillies, chopped (including the seeds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

¹/² teaspoon ground black pepper.


Throw all the ingredients into a small blender or food processor and whizz to an almost smooth paste, like a pesto. Serve in a small jar or dip bowl.

Keep leftovers in a jar in the fridge with a little oil poured on top to keep it sealed and fresh. This will keep for a few weeks if kept sealed with oil.

Mixed pickles

These pickles are pulled out for nearly every meal in Dvir’s parents’ house.

Their crunch and acidity help to balance many a meal. This is our base recipe, but the ingredients of each batch we make depends on what we have in the deli or our house at the time and what’s in season. It’s an ideal way to use up extra fresh vegetables that you have in the fridge before they go a bit sad and wobbly and a great way to add some more veg to your meals.


20g fresh dill

¹/4 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

¹/4 romanesco, cut into bite-sized florets

¹/4 white cabbage, cut into thin wedges

¹/² fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges

1 large carrot, cut into batons or sliced

1 small purple or candy-striped beetroot, halved and sliced

1–2 fresh red medium-heat chillies, sliced lengthways (seeds left in)

6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half

1 litre white wine vinegar

800ml water

2 tablespoons sea salt.


Clean and sterilise your pickling jars. You can use 2 x 1.5-litre pickling jars or 10–12 jam jars. Remove any rubber seals, then put the jars in a large saucepan with hot water. Put the pan on a high heat and boil for 10 minutes, adding the lids for the last 5 minutes. Remove the jars and lids with tongs and drain on a clean surface.

Add sprigs of dill to each sterilised jar, then add the vegetables, chillies and garlic.

Put the vinegar, water, and salt in a large saucepan over a high heat until it’s just coming to the boil, then pour the pickling liquid into the jars. These will be ready to eat the following day.

Store the jars in a cool, dry place. Once the jar is opened, store it in the fridge.


We also pickle radishes, peppers, red onions, kohlrabi and turnips.

Has your pickled garlic turned blue? Don’t worry, this happens due to a chemical reaction with the vinegar. It is perfectly safe to eat.

Recipes taken from ‘Middle Eastern Food Made to Share’ by Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery – visit: https://mezze.ie/product/mezze-cookbook-hardback/