April 10, 2009

Cheese & Silverbeet Filo Tart

This is the kind of dish I normally throw together without ever measuring anything. My visual assessment of "yeah that looks just about right" applies to this dish. However that does not help you; which is why I precisely recorded the measurements for this particular tart on screen. I can't recall how many times I have made cheese and silverbeet tarts and taken them to different events and places. It's always a hit. Especially if you accompany cut up pieces with sweet chilli sauce or better still a home-made chutney or relish.

Cheese & Silverbeet Filo Tart

1 bunch silverbeet, chopped roughly, washed, drain in colander
8 sheets refrigerated filo pastry
125gm feta cheese
250gm fresh ricotta cheese
2 green shallots, chopped
1/2 cup cream
2 large eggs
2tbsp pinenuts
approx. 40gm melted butter
freshly cracked pepper, sea salt flakes
freshly ground nutmeg

Place your prepared silverbeet in a large frypan; the water clinging to the leaves should be enough to help wilt the silverbeet. Over a medium heat, toss the silverbeet with tongs until it has all wilted. This will only take a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to a moderate setting. I do not like to have the oven on too high when using filo as it is a delicate pastry and can burn easily. You can always increase the temperature at the end of baking if needed.

When cooled; place the silverbeet on some paper towelling to help extract any further liquid; you may need to do this a couple of times.

Place silverbeet in a bowl with crumbled feta cheese, coarsely pulled apart ricotta cheese, shallots, a few twists of cracked black pepper, only a pinch of salt (feta is salty remember) and a generous sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well.

The nutmeg really makes a difference to the powdery stuff you buy already ground. There is no comparison to the flavour and aroma of the "real stuff" and it can make all the difference to your tart. Truly. It's worth it. Having said that, do not be tempted to put in too much. A generous sprinkling is all that is required.

Add the lightly beaten eggs & cream to the mixture. Without breaking up the ricotta too much mix really thoroughly so that all the ingredients have been moistened.

Using the melted butter, thoroughly brush a tart or quiche tin with a removable bottom. Take two sheets of the filo pastry at a time; brush the top sheet generously; lay over the tin. Continue to brush every second sheet till you have all eight sheets in the tin. Tuck the pastry into the edges of the baking tin. Brush well with butter. Spoon the silverbeet mixture into the pastry; press down evenly; scatter with pinenuts.

Bake for approx. 35 to 40 minutes. Take out when baked; place onto wire rack for a couple of minutes. Not too long though or you will lose that crispy base.

Carefully remove tart from tin; allow to cool or enjoy warm. Don't forget to accompany with the condiment of your choice. Also delicious served with a green salad drizzled with home-made dressing.

Now you have this recipe there are no excuses! Organise that luncheon with your friends today!

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