Cheese and Herb Sambousek
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Cheese and Herb Sambousek


Cheese and Herb Sambousek

In Lebanon, sambouseks are often prepared with spiced lamb and served as part of a classic mezze spread. If you can’t find kashkaval, substitute a similarly mild, semi-firm cheese such as Greek kasseri, provolone, muenster, or low-moisture mozzarella. You can also make this recipe using store-bought puff pastry—simply cut the dough into squares to form triangles and bake according to the package instructions.


  • DOUGH:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups crumbled feta about 8 ounces
  • 2 cups grated kashkaval cheese about 8 ounces
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk cream, or water
  • Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling


  • DOUGH: Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Combine butter, oil, and water in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until butter is melted. Whisk butter mixture to combine, then pour into a large bowl.
  • Add flour, ½ cup at a time, to butter mixture, stirring with a fork to combine (use your hands when dough becomes too thick). Do not overwork dough—stop mixing as soon as last of flour is incorporated and dough is smooth and holds together. It should be greasy and soft.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • FILLING: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and add more salt and red pepper flakes if desired.
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Heat oven to 375°F. Take a walnut-size piece of dough (keeping remaining dough under plastic wrap) and roll it into a ball with your hands. Flatten it between your palms and then, on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a rough circle 4 to 4½ inches wide. Dough will be thin.
  • Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on half of circle. Fold other half over to make a half-moon shape and pinch edges together to seal. You can either use a fork to crimp or apply repulgue technique. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and repeat until all dough has been used.
  • Lightly beat egg with milk in a small bowl. Brush pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until pastries are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Photography by Nina Gallant, Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Polina Chesnakova

Polina Chesnkova is a Seattle-based food writer, cooking class instructor, and the author of Hot Cheese: Over 50 Gooey, Oozy, Melty Recipes.

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