Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Cottage Cheese Phyllo Tart

Ummmm yes please !

I have finally come to the realization that I REALLY enjoy zucchini’s !, courgettes, or marrows or whatever you guys call them. (Sorry I did not mean to shout, I really just wanted to emphasize how much I really do enjoy them) It’s not a bad thing though as they are healthy, low carbs… but seriously, look at all my posts and 90% of them have zucchini’s in them !!!! (Okay, I still am getting used to the idea of calling what I know as ‘marrow’s’, zucchini’s or courgettes….I know I am carrying on about it, but this is a major for me.

So, this little savoury tart I have done like a billion times, over the years.  I decided that it clearly is good, and it is clearly time to share.  The combination of the marrows zucchini’s and cottage cheese is just delicious.  I have made it with both phyllo and puff.  Both are good, so basically when I am in this tart mood I use whatever pastry I have on hand, so clearly anything goes! (did you notice how many times I said ‘clearly’ in this paragraph?….yip! I am losing it !!!)

Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Cottage Cheese Phyllo Tart

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  30 – 45 minutes

Total time:  40 – 55 minutes

Ingredients:

6 – 8 sheets of phyllo pastry

1/2 cup (125 ml) melted butter, plus more if necessary

250 gram plain chunky cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons basil pesto (be generous)

8 small zucchini’s, sliced with a potato peeler

a handful of baby spinach, sliced finely

4 Jumbo-sized free-range eggs

1 cup (250 ml) crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup (125 ml) dry toasted pumpkin seeds

To Serve:  Rocket and Sour Cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease an oven proof dish approximately 23 x 28 x 5 centimeters / 9 x 11 x 2 inches in size.

Layer one sheet of your phyllo pastry into the dish and brush the pastry with some melted butter.  Continue to layer and brush with butter until all the sheets of phyllo are finished.

Then blanch the sliced zucchini’s in boiling water for a few seconds, drain and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl add the cottage cheese and pesto.  Taste and if needed season with salt and pepper.  Spoon mixture onto the phyllo pastry.

In another bowl, add the zucchini, baby spinach, eggs and feta. Mix well. Then stir in half of the dry toasted pumpkin seeds.

Spoon the zucchini mixture over the cottage cheese mixture, and top with the remainder of the pumpkin seeds.

Place in oven and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until egg has set and phyllo is golden brown.

Serve with rocket and sour cream.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you find that your phyllo is browning too quickly, cover the exposed phyllo with tin foil, so that it does not burn.

 

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Baby Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Pizza Base with Roasted Miso Chickpeas and Cheesy Cherry Tomato Topping

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So, what is not to love?  Remember when the Baby Marrow Pizza Base was all the craze.  I think the whole veggie base thing started with the cauliflower pizza base…low calories and such like, then the baby marrow one came in for the play…yet another success, and then….. it all kind of fizzled out !  Where did the fancy healthy veggie pizza bases go ??? Well, fizzled out or not, for me they are the ultimate best !!!  So, they can be a little work, but really…lets not split hairs over a little bit of an arm workout….and it is healthy !

So, the squeezing out of the water content is crucial, otherwise ….. 😦 soggy pizza … and that is not cool !  Otherwise you are good to go !

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Baby Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Pizza Base with Roasted Miso Chickpeas and Cheesy, Cherry Tomato Topping

Preparation time:  25 minutes (excluding draining of water content)

Cooking time:  1 hour

Total time:  1 hour and 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 kilogram baby marrow (zucchini, courgette), grated

1 jumbo sized free-range egg

1/2  medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour*

salt and pepper

extra salt for grated baby marrows (zucchini, courgettes) to help release the water content from veggie

origanum and thyme (fresh or dried)

Instructions:

Once the baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) have been grated (this takes about 10 minutes) sprinkle liberally with some fine salt, add to a colander which fits into a bowl with sufficient space underneath for the water to drip into and place in the refrigerator. This can even be done overnight or let it sit for minimum 45 minutes.  Once time is up, remove the colander from the bowl and tip the grated baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) into the middle of a dish towel/cloth.  Bring the corners and sides up from the cloth and twist, so that the baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) form a ball. Twist and squeeze over the kitchen sink.  Continue to do this, squeezing every last drop of water out from the baby marrow (zucchini, baby courgette).

I managed to squeeze out 425 millilitres of water content from mine, so you can see a fair amount of water is trapped within the veggie!

Once done, add the grated baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) to a large bowl.

Then add the balance of the ingredients, and stir well so all the ingredients are combined well.

Season well to taste.

Add the mixture to a baking tray greased and lined with baking paper (I use Spray ‘n Cook) on the baking paper as well or use a silicone sheet.

Top the baking paper with the base mixture and flatten with your hands until you reach the thickness you want for your base.

Place baking tray into your preheated oven at 210 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for 15 minutes /220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature by 10 degrees and cook for a further 15 minutes.  Once the one side is done, (and it must not be soft, but firm) take out the oven, and carefully flip over.  This is delicate.  I use a board to assist the actual turning over and then back onto the baking sheet. Please don’t try to turn with utensils, trust me the base will just break.  Once turned over, cook for about 15 minutes on the other side. Cook until you are happy.  I like a firm and crisp base, so depending on your oven times may differ slightly.

Remove from the oven and put the topping on.

Topping:

Pasta Sauce

a combination of mozzarella and feta cheese

cherry tomatoes

roasted miso seasoned chickpeas*

baby spinach

Place in the oven again till the cherry tomatoes pop and the cheese melts to your liking. Remove, and add loads of fresh basil leaves.

Enjoy 🙂

  • If using Gluten-Free flour, you may need a more flour than mentioned.
  • For Miso Roasted Chickpeas:  Roast in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes (or until crisp) with salt, pepper and miso seasoning

Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Salad with Nectarines

 

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Well, this is by far my favourite salad right now.  It is super simple and easy to make and can even be easier if the main prep work is done earlier and stored in the refrigerator.

Roasted chickpeas have been my thing for quite some time now. I do not do the tinned chickpeas thing at all.  No tins, no preservatives for me.  I am a do it from scratch kind of girl, so yes, I will take the time and soak the chickpeas and then boil the chickpeas.  Then I like to measure them out, two cups of cooked chickpeas and pre-pack them in sealed containers and freeze them. It works like a dream for the next time they are needed.  The hard work is done !

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I basically put this recipe together about two weeks ago.  I have been obsessed with herb roasted chickpeas for a while. I, of course love roasted butternut, and over quite some time have seen various roasted butternut salad recipes, but nothing excited me.  All they confirmed was that a roasted cold butternut salad was durable and edible !  I skimmed though the Tv channels a couple of weeks back and on passing a food channel, saw some woman doing a salad with tinned chickpeas. I never saw the whole program but for me, that was the sign. I had to create my own salad.  So for starters, it had to include the crunch, so that was the herb roasted chickpeas, I wanted kale in this salad, as kale just is the bomb! and personally I just can’t get enough of it raw.  Roasted herb butternut, was another given.   So there I was massaging the kale, added the kale to a serving plate, included some salad leaves for extra texture and colour, tossed in the already roasted charred butternut and scattered a good scattering of herb roasted chickpeas. Then, it was a matter of what next, as at this point the salad looked a bit boring,  so then feta cheese was just the next obvious decision, I mean, who does not LOVE feta? and I needed that colour against all the obvious green and charred orange.  So, at this point the salad looked great, but I still felt it was missing something, so as a bold statement, reached into my fridge and grabbed some delicious nectarines….Salad done !!!

I really had no clue what this salad would taste like, but….success, happiness and total health…what could be better?

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Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Salad with Nectarines

Total time:  45 minutes – 60 minutes (excluding soaking time for the chickpeas, but including roasting time)

Serves 4

No exact measurements are necessary.  You can eye-ball a lot depending on how many people you are serving.  Below is just a guide line.

Ingredients:

Kale Leaves, chopped and massaged * (1/2 head of Kale)

Mixed Lettuce leaves, chopped (same quantity as chopped kale)

1 x medium-sized Butternut, chopped, roasted with salt, pepper and herbs

2 cups cooked Chickpeas, roasted with  salt, pepper and herbs

2 x fresh Nectarines, with the skin on, sliced

1 -2 Plain Feta Cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

For the Roasted Chickpeas:  Once chickpeas are cooked, roast with salt and pepper and a good drizzling of extra virgin olive oil. I did mine for about 45 minutes on fan oven at 180 degrees C.  I like mine golden and crisp.

When the chickpeas are in the oven, keep checking and tossing, so that they roast evenly.  Also, check for the texture and crispness you are wanting.  When out of the oven add a healthy and generous amount of dried origanum, or any other herbs you like.  If you have fresh herbs, chop, and then nearing the end of the oven time, add the fresh herbs to the oven and toss amongst the chickpeas. Once done, set aside.

For the Roasted Butternut:  Add the cut cubes of butternut to a roasting tray, add salt and freshly cracked pepper to the butternut, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the butternut around to ensure it is well coated.  Roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for 30 – 45 minutes (this depends on the size of the diced butternut and how cooked you actually want them.  I quite like mine to be slightly charred on the edges for the salad.  Once done set aside.

Then, it is just a matter of assembling the salad.  Place the chopped kale and lettuce leaves  together on the salad plate.

Top with a generous amount of the roasted butternut.

Add a healthy helping of the roasted chickpeas.

Add the sliced pieces of nectarines and top with the crumbled feta cheese.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I believe Kale needs to be massaged for a few seconds.  It helps with the  bitterness.  To be honest, I have not gone  into this theory but just do it  anyway.