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Spinach, sweet pepper and feta phyllo tart

Bernadette Le Roux, author of vegetarian cookbook Roots, Shoots & Leaves, says, "This is really like a quiche, but in a phyllo ‘casing’. The edges of phyllo, when left uncut and folded upwards before baking, make for a visually appetising dish that looks as good as it tastes."

Serves: 6-8 people (makes one tart)

Ingredients

1 large bunch shredded and trimmed spinach
1 tablespoon (15ml) butter
1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
1 finely sliced onion
3 finely sliced garlic cloves
220g feta
3 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
1 cup (250ml) cream
1 pinch nutmeg
4 sheets phyllo pastry
for brushing: melted butter
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 deseeded and sliced yellow pepper
1 deseeded and sliced red capsicum pepper

Method

This is really like a quiche, but in a phyllo ‘casing’. The edges of phyllo, when left uncut and folded upwards before baking, make for a visually appetising dish that looks as good as it tastes,” says Bernadette Le Roux, author of Roots, Shoots & Leaves.

Drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 190 ˚C.

Steam the spinach until wilted. Place in a sieve over a bowl to drain any excess moisture. Set aside. Heat the oil and butter and sauté the onion, adding the garlic after a few minutes. Sauté until the onion is translucent but not yet brown. Remove from the heat and add the spinach. Crumble in the feta and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, yolks and cream to make an egg ‘custard’. Add the nutmeg and season (be careful not to add too much salt as feta can often be very salty). Set aside.

Brush the sheets of phyllo with the melted butter and lay one on top of the other over a loose-bottomed 22-25cm tart dish. Press the pastry into the edges of the dish and let the sides hang over (do not cut the edges to fit, rather fold upwards gently after adding the filling, trimming where necessary – it will look very beautiful after baking).

Place the spinach mix and roasted peppers into the pastry casing and pour over the egg custard. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 ˚C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden and the filling set. Leave to cool slightly before serving. (I find that this tart is best served at room temperature.)

Published with permission of Bernadette Le Roux, author of Roots, Shoots & Leaves, published by Sunbird and available from Exclusive Books, Wordsworth Books, CNA and via Bernadette’s blog Live to eat.

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