Swiss chard beoreg

July 22, 2011  •  Category:


The Armenian community in Lebanon has always fascinated me; I had Armenian friends in school, an Armenian dentist, knew Armenian musicians, carpenters, artists; we lived side by side, yet they spoke their own language and wrote in Armenian, a language that seemed mysterious, with letters that could not be deciphered even for someone fluent in Arabic and French.

So what about Armenian cuisine? Here is one example: In Lebanese cooking, we use tahini sauce with swiss chard stalks. We make pies with swiss chard and onion, but this is an Armenian version. If you like tahini, you will love this combo: Tahini and greens are a perfect match.

This is a vegan dish, par excellence.

Frozen chopped spinach can be substituted for the swiss chard.

INGREDIENTS: 8 Servings (Recipe is adapted from Anaheed’s Cookbook)

  • 1 pound swiss chard or spinach, washed, boiled briefly, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar with 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, a pinch of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of sumac (or add lemon juice to the mixture)
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper paste mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 egg yolk for giving a shine to the dough (optional)


  • 3 cups of unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry instant yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water (more or less depending on flour used and humidity)

Prepare the filling:

  1. Fry the onion in the olive oil till golden; the last 5 minutes of frying, throw in the pine nuts as well. When the onions are golden, remove from the heat and transfer onion and pine nuts into a bowl. Add the swiss chard or spinach, the spices, pepper and tomato paste  and mix thoroughly. Add the tahini and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and set aside.
  2. Prepare the dough or use a ready-made pizza dough; Proof the yeast in 2 ounces of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. Place the flour and salt and oil  in the bowl of a mixer and combine well. Add the bubbled yeast and more water and mix until the dough becomes compact, even if still sticky. Transfer to a greased bowl and pat it with oiled hands all around. Cover and let it rise for one hour in a warm place. Punch it down to release all gases and divide into two parts. Grease a rectangular pan and roll one part to fit the bottom of the pan. Cover the dough with the swiss chard filling. Roll the other part, stretching it to fit the pan and pinching it to seal it with the bottom dough. Brush with an egg yolk if desired and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  3. Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes or until the beoreg is golden and crisp. Cool and serve at room temperature with labneh on the side. You can use Greek yogurt instead of the labneh or skip it altogether. The recipe does not call for it, it just seemed to taste very well with it.


20 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    That is something for me! *drool*



  2. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I really ought to try the combination of leafy greens and tahini. This beoreg looks delicious!

  3. Sonia Rumzi says:

    Wow! Sounds delicious!

  4. samir says:

    this looks amazing..I love swiss chard and everything else about the pie.and must try you briefly saute the garlic paste after the onion/pine nuts and would you recommend using olive oil in the pastry dough?

    • Joumana says:

      @Samir: Frankly I think olive oil is wasted on the dough; as far as the garlic goes, I always like to add the garlic paste fresh so I don’t sauté it with the onions; these are just things that you can change based on your personal preferences without any concern because it won’t affect the final taste of the pie.

  5. Joan Nova says:

    This is definitely something I’m attracted to because I love savory pies.

  6. Chiara says:

    This sounds and looks incredible! I can only imagine how good it tastes Joumana, I love Armenian recipes, kisses…

  7. Susan says:

    This sounds like a wonderful, regional variation of bourek which I love.

  8. Barbara says:

    Gosh, that looks good, Joumana. And after reading the ingredient list, it sounds wonderful!

  9. Jojo says:

    Joumana, Passing along a food contest in Lebanon. If you “like” the I dream of Lebanon page, you can view the photos. The very first one is the food contest details. Thought you might enjoy participating.

  10. Joanne says:

    I’m getting swiss chard in my CSA on Monday and I absolutely have to make this!

  11. umm imran says:

    masha`allah this is one for my books so simple and would be great in ramadan…. i have to say i love your blog

  12. Velva says:

    I love Tahini. Growing-up, I had Armenian friends. I spent a lot of evenings at their dinner table enjoying Armenian food. These times have created some of my most fondest food memories.


  13. Jamie says:

    I do love tahini and I adore Swiss chard! I love all of the versions of this fabulous snack – wrapped in phyllo is great but I am loving the dough, too! Yay another yeast bread to make but filled with something delicious. Great recipe, Joumana!

  14. domi says:

    Une gourmandise qui est une spécialité de Nice et Monaco et que l’on trouve aussi bien en version salée ou sucrée….on adore. Bisous et passe une belle journée

  15. Alicia (Foodycat) says:

    Oh yum! I maintain that Armenians are the best cooks in the world. Every time I have been to a really amazing Lebanese or Persian or Turkish restaurant, it has turned out that there were Armenian cooks.

    This looks like a great dish to pack for work lunches, I will have to try it. Thanks Joumana!

  16. Magic of Spice says:

    Look at all of this flavor…just wonderful! I grow rainbow chard in my garden so always need a new idea to play with it, and this is perfect 🙂

  17. Nuts about food says:

    Thanks for teaching us about tahini and greens…that will come in handy for sure.

  18. Katie says:

    I love tahini… And my chard has exploded. I’m making your chard rolls tonight….

  19. Caffettiera says:

    What makes the Middle East world so fascinating to me is the incredible mixture of populations and culture, so difficult to define for someone looking from outside. This of course reflects in cooking: I still have to understand what is ‘typical’ for a population.This dish is totally fascinating.

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