Minted Artichoke Cigars
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM
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Take Time To Savor The Borek, A Flaky Turkish Snack
It's like a little gift-wrapped package with a delicious surprise inside, built for enjoying slowly.

Cigar-shaped borek are common in Turkey, usually filled with meat or cheese and often deep-fried. This somewhat lighter version, inspired by a recipe in Eric Treuille's Canapes (Dorling Kindersley 2009), pairs Mediterranean artichokes with bright fresh herbs. The lemony mayo might not be terribly traditional, but it pairs quite well.

Makes 18 cigars

1 pound canned or thawed frozen artichoke hearts/bottoms

1/4 cup kasseri or romano cheese, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 handful chopped parsley

1 handful chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 large egg

1/2 package (8 ounces) phyllo, thawed

1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons), melted

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place the artichokes, cheese, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, pepper and egg in a food processor and pulse until reduced to a slightly chunky mixture.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll the phyllo dough, leaving the unused portion covered with a dishtowel to keep from drying out. Place a sheet of phyllo on your work surface, and brush it lightly with the melted butter. Cut it from corner to corner, creating two triangles. Take a small lump of filling (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and shape it into a cigar shape. Place it along the shortest edge of the triangle, opposite the long, slim tip. Fold in the sides snugly around the filling, then roll up toward the tip to create a narrow cigar shape. Place on the baking sheet, and brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining filling and phyllo. Bake until the borek are browned and sizzling, about 25 minutes.

To serve, mix together the mayonnaise with the lemon juice. Serve alongside the warm borek. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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