Pie recipes: Zeljanica

Bosnian traditional pie-Zeljanica

The scenic land of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a unique mixture of different cultures and civilizations who lived in this area in the past.

Traditional food in Bosnia and Herzegovina is often prepared with meat as a main ingredient. The meat is of extraordinary quality, often organic and well prepared. Meat is the ingredient of some of the most popular Bosnian dishes such as Bosnian pot, Ćevapi, Bey soup, burek, and bean soup.

In case you have missed it, read our previous post – Delicious burek, favorite homemade meal in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Homemade pies are one of the favorite dishes in the whole country. They can be made of various ingredients. The pie made of meat is called burek, the one made of potatoes is called krompirača, cheese pie is called sirnica, pumpkin pie is called tikvara and spinach pie is called zeljanica.

Zeljanica is the food you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just as a snack. This pie is much lighter to eat than the meat pie called burek.

How to make zeljanica with homemade dough?

For the dough you need the following ingredients: plain flour, salt, water and vegetable oil.  For the spinach filling the following ingredients are needed: fresh spinach, ricotta cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs and salt.

Mince spinach finely. Combine in a bowl with sour cream, ricotta, cottage cheese, eggs, and salt. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are completely integrated.

Next comes the dough. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water a little at a time, mixing with your hand, until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the water. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until soft and elastic. Divide into four and flatten to about 2 cm or an inch.

Unroll phyllo pastry and transfer 2 sheets to a work surface; stack sheets. Spoon 1/8th of the ground spinach mixture down one long edge of the phyllo pastry. Roll phyllo into a tube and shape the tube into a coil (snail shape). Place the roll on an ungreased baking sheet; brush with melted butter. Repeat, placing finished rolls up against one another to keep them from unrolling.

Bake zeljanica in the preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.


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