Vegetable phyllo tart

“This lovely flat vegetable tart is made in a baking tray and served just like pizza, cut into large squares,” says Carmen Niehaus, renowned food editor of You and Huisgenoot magazines and author of Carmen’s Best Recipes. She includes three different fillings for you to try, any of which would be perfect for a light brunch with friends.

Serves: Serves 8–12

Preparation time: 20 min

Cooking time: 30–40 min


4–8 sheets phyllo pastry
250 g creamed cottage cheese
125 ml ( 1⁄2 c) milk
4 eggs
Salt and black pepper
2 punnets (16) grated baby marrows
200g coarsely crumbled feta cheese
For garnishing: 10g fresh dill
60g sun-dried tomato pesto or coriander pesto
2 punnets baby tomatoes
1 sliced and baked aubergine
150g pitted and halved black olives
1 seeded and chopped red pepper
100g baby spinach leaves
(optional) 2 small chorizo sausages or fried bacon
200g grated mozzarella cheese
For garnishing: basil leaves
4 large red onions, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, cut into strips
250g butternut, cut into long strips
15ml (1 T) brown sugar
30ml (2 T) oil
150g crumbled blue cheese
A few sprigs fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease one large baking tray (per filling).

For the phyllo crust

Spray each sheet of phyllo pastry with nonstick food spray and stack on top of each other. (Place 2 sheets alongside each other if it’s a large tray.) There should be at least 4 sheets stacked on top of each other. Set aside.

Beat the cottage cheese, milk and eggs together, season and set aside.

For the baby marrow filling:

Sprinkle salt over the grated baby marrows and leave in a colander for at least 15 minutes to extract most of the moisture. Rinse and squeeze dry.

Spread the filling over the crust, pour the cottage cheese mixture over, and sprinkle with the feta cheese and then the dill.

For the tomato filling:

Spread the pesto over the crust, and top with the rest of the filling ingredients.

Pour over the cottage cheese mixture, and sprinkle with the cheese

and basil leaves.

For the onion and butternut filling:

Place the onions, garlic and butternut in a roasting pan, sprinkle with sugar and a little oil and roast at 200 °C until the edges are slightly charred and the vegetables are cooked but still crisp. Leave to cool.

Arrange the cooled vegetables on the crust, pour over the cottage cheese mixture, and sprinkle with the cheese and thyme.


Place the tart(s) in the oven and bake for 30–40 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.

This recipe is courtesy of Carmen’s Best Recipes by Carmen Niehaus, published by Human & Rousseau. (The book is also available in Afrikaans: Carmen Se Beste Resepte deur Carmen Niehaus.) Recommended price of R260 at good book stores.

Carmen's Best Recipes       Carmen se Beste Resepte

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