Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Feta and Pine Nut Phyllo Tart



Welcome back to Meatless Monday! I have a super fun and delicious recipe for you today. I made this over the weekend as a side dish to homemade Gyros (I'll be posting that recipe this week) and my family as well as our guests loved it. It was crunchy from the phyllo and toasted pine nuts, but gooey from the melted feta. For anyone who doesn't love spinach, this doesn't have an overwhelming spinach taste to it. There's enough other flavors going on that makes the spinach meld beautifully with everything.

It's basically a phyllo crusted pie, so if you don't have a tart pan, don't fret! I made mine free-formed on a baking sheet with great success. I also wasn't able to find the size of phyllo the recipe specified, I could only find smaller ones. So I made two smaller tarts instead of one big tart, and it worked perfectly.

This tart/pie would be great as a main dish, alongside some veggies and a salad. Give this a try, you'll love it!

Spinach, Feta and Pine Nut Phyllo Tart, from recipegirl.com


Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 45 min Cook Time: 35 min

FOR FILLING:
1/2 cup pine nuts (about 3 ounces)
1 medium onion
1/3 cup olive oil
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 3 ounces)
1 Tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs

7 (17 x 12-inch) phyllo sheets
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons + 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Make filling:
In a shallow baking pan toast pine nuts in middle of oven until golden, about 4 minutes, and cool. Finely chop onion and in a large heavy skillet cook in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible and stir with salt into onion. Cook spinach mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes, and cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk eggs until combined and stir in spinach mixture, pine nuts, feta, and bread crumbs until combined well. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring filling to room temperature before proceeding.

3. Stack phyllo sheets and cover with 2 overlapping sheets plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel. In a small saucepan melt butter and cool slightly. Lightly brush a 10 1/2- by 7 1/2- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable fluted rim with butter.

4. On a work surface lightly brush 1 phyllo sheet with butter. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon Parmesan evenly over buttered phyllo and repeat layering with 5 more phyllo sheets, butter, and 5 Tablespoons Parmesan. Arrange last phyllo sheet on stack and lightly brush with butter. Transfer phyllo to tart pan, letting excess hang over edge, and spoon filling onto phyllo, spreading evenly. Fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered , and lightly brush top of phyllo with butter. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over exposed filling and bake tart in middle of oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.

Tips:
*The recipe calls for a 10 1/2- by 7 1/2- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan. The tart could also be made using a baking sheet or a jelly-roll pan, as the filling is dense enough to hold its shape on its own.

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