It's soup season and - don't get me wrong - I absolutely love soup. But I can't just have a bowl of soup.

I need a sandwich. Or crackers. Or a sprinkling of cheese. I need some croutons or some kind of garnish.

To me, adding these things to the side of your bowl of soup elevates it to 'meal' status, where before it was just merely soup.

I was reading through one of my favourite Irish cookbooks from 2022 (Mezze: Middle Eastern Food to Share) and saw a recipe for bourekas, which I have always enjoyed eating but never attempted to make at home.

Bourekas are savoury-filled pastries - often made with filo or puff pastry - topped with sesame seeds. They are usually filled with cheese.

Mezze's recipe was really straightforward and easy to follow, but I didn't have the exact cheese called for. I used a block of crumbled feta and mixed that with a tub of St Tola cream cheese (made from milk from their own herd of goats in Co Clare) and some shop-bought pesto.

Then, I rolled out a block of puff pastry and instead of making little filled triangles (which is traditional), I spread the filling on the pastry before rolling it up lengthways - the way you would with cinnamon rolls.

I sliced them into 'pinwheels', brushed them with egg wash and sprinkled on toasted sesame seeds and a bit of flaky sea salt before baking to a crisp golden brown.

And oh my goodness - these little morsels were so delicious.

Fresh and still warm from the oven, they were amazing, but even the next day they were the perfect accompaniment to our lunchtime bowl of spiced carrot soup.

Perfect for dipping, lightly crunchy and equal parts tangy (from the cheese and pesto) and buttery (from the all butter puff pastry), I will be making these boureka-inspired pinwheels again and again.

Boureka-inspired puff pastry pinwheels

They would also be great served as a canape at a dinner party or as a starter with a salad. / Janine Kennedy

Makes 12 pastries


1 package store-bought puff pastry (try to find one made with all butter)

120g St Tola cream cheese (can be subbed for plain cream cheese or ricotta)

200g feta cheese, crumbled

150g store-bought basil pesto (I like the ones you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket as opposed to jarred)

1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)

2-3 tbsp sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


1 Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.

2 On a clean work surface, dust a small amount of plain flour and place the puff pastry on the floured surface. If the pastry is already rolled out (you are looking for a large rectangular shape), you don't need to do anything. If you've bought it in a block, use a rolling pin to roll it out to a 1.5cm- to 2cm-thickness rectangle.

3 In a large bowl, combine the crumbled feta, St Tola cream cheese and pesto. Mix well.

4 Spread the cheese and pesto mixture evenly over the rolled-out puff pastry.

5 Roll the puff pastry lengthwise towards you, until it is completely rolled up in a long, snakelike tube.

6 Carefully slice this tube in half. Then, cut each half in half and do that one more time until you have 12 even-sized slices. Place each slice on the parchment-lined baking tray.

7 Brush each pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and flaky sea salt. Place in the preheated oven.

8 Bake for 25-30 minutes, until completely golden brown and well-risen. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy warm with salad or soup. These will keep in an airtight container for up to 24 hours, though they are best eaten fresh.

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