Banitsa is a classic Bulgarian pastry made with phyllo dough, yogurt, and cheese, all rolled into a delicious dessert spiral. It’s like a cheese danish and Greek baklava combined! In Bulgarian culture, it’s common to serve banitsa on major holidays, like Christmas or New Year’s, with small, lucky charms called kismets baked into the dough.
While banitsa is traditionally a sweet pastry, it’s gotten a savory twist as time goes on – much like this Banitsa Appetizer recipe! All the flaky goodness of phyllo, the decadence of yogurt, and a tasty touch of cheese and rosemary – it’s the best of all the worlds! They’re so cute, you could just eat them all up.
¼ Cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Cups yogurt
1 ½ Cup feta cheese, rinsed and crumbled
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ Tsp baking soda
1 Pack phyllo sheets
1 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 Cup carbonated water
Salt (If the feta is not salty)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then dust lightly with flour.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in yogurt until smooth. Add feta, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir the remaining olive oil with melted butter. Set aside
Lightly dust work surface with flour. Unroll the phyllo sheets. Gently brush the top sheet with the butter mixture. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the feta yogurt in a thin line across the short side. Tightly roll up the phyllo sheet to the other short side. Place it in the baking sheet seam side down. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets.
Drizzle the top of the banitsa with the remaining butter mixture and lightly with seltzer water.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 45-60. Allow to cool down. Slice into bites and place into a serving plate, cut side up. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and top with rosemary. Serve with honey.