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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Phyllo Breakfast Pie

 

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For me to do a cooked breakfast during the week, just does not happen. Everyone is rushing around, so to throw something down quickly is what happens.  I look forward to something different over the weekends, and egg and bacon always hits the spot.

Anyway, this last weekend, I made this Breakfast Pie, made with phyllo pastry! I have done it before with puff pastry and loved it (but not with the phyllo).  I love not having the fat splattering around my stove which inevitably happens when frying eggs.  I now, either grill or microwave my bacon, again to elevate the fat splatter…I am pathetic hey, …but it is what it is… 🙂

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So, usually the concept of this Breakfast Pie would be done with normal puff pastry in a pie shell, but I had the phyllo pastry and thought why not? lets change it up a bit and so the Phyllo Breakfast Pie was born.  A ovenproof pie dish, seemed apt as I was using the phyllo pastry, and the vision of the phyllo pastry hanging over the pie dish, just seemed appealing.  Not only that, but the substantial amount of bacon and eggs filling the pie dish…..there just aren’t words……

Once the pie had cooked for 35 minutes.  The egg contents plumped up beautifully to the height of my ovenproof pie dish and was set to perfection.

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This was a filling brunch for us and was so delicious.  I particularly enjoyed the thin layers of the crunchy pastry as I bit into it.

The hubby is still trying to understand the concept of the phyllo …well, it’s just a change…and a change is as good as a holiday ! I mean I could do the good old puff pastry pie, but then it is not different.  Oh well, he still ate it and wanted more, so …I will say no more.

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Apologies for the pictures, they are not great, but you can just imagine the deliciousness of the ingredients all intermingled into a pie form with crunchy, crispy phyllo.  Total awesomeness !!!

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Phyllo Breakfast Pie

Preparation time:  30 minutes (you can cut down on prep time if bacon bits are already cooked)

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Total time:  1 hour and 5 minutes

Ingredients:

500 grams bacon bits, cooked

6 – 8 phyllo pastry sheets

a little melted butter to baste on the phyllo pastry sheets

10 – 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 – 3 spring onions, chopped

8 free-range jumbo eggs

1 tablespoon of fresh herbs (I used chives)

freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

1 extra egg and milk until egg and milk reach 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) for pouring over the top of pie

Instructions:

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.

Grease a ovenproof pie dish, (approximately 18 – 20.5 centimeter / 7 – 8 inch) Then separate one phyllo pastry layer and place in the ovenproof loaf dish, allowing it to overlap the sides of the dish.  Using a basting brush, baste  the entire phyllo pastry sheet with a little melted butter. Continue this method of layering the 6 – 8 phyllo pastry sheets until finished.

Then, place a layer of cooked bacon bits, cherry tomatoes, sprinkling of spring onions, herbs and freshly ground salt and pepper. Repeat again until all the ingredients are used up.

Make an indentation in the mixture and crack an egg into the indentation.  Do this until all 8 eggs are used up.

Break the extra egg into a measuring jug, and whisk with a fork.  Add some milk to the egg until it reaches 125 milliliters (1/2 cup). Whisk with fork until thoroughly mixed.  Pour this egg and milk mixture over all the ingredients and with a knife, make holes in the mixture to allow the egg and milk mixture to fill the holes.

Place the ovenproof dish into the preheated oven and cook for 35 minutes. You will see the actual mixture will rise, and the phyllo pastry will become golden brown. Test if set with a sharp knife, then remove from the oven and serve hot.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

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This is so super easy, it is ridiculous !  I had 5 or 6 phyllo pastry sheets left over in the refrigerator.  When I unravelled them, I noticed they were torn, and broken, far from repair.  I contemplated tossing them out, but that is far from what I really wanted.  I wanted to do something with them.  Tossing them out would just be pure waste…..So I decided I would just do my best, unravel what I could , put all the pieces together and of course use melted butter over each layer of pastry, and go from there.  I really had no idea what I was going to concoct. Firstly I took out my baking tray, sprayed it with spray ‘n cook and prepared the phyllo pastry.  The bigger pieces I placed at the bottom and basically just layered the bits on top of that.  I folded the corners and edges in, to give it a bit of a rustic looking finish.  The plan was that, that would act as a lip so to speak, to my filling so that my filling would not fall out.

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At that point I had no idea what filling I was going to use.  I had no idea whether this rustic pizza would be going back into the oven, it was a matter of…well….whatever happens, happens. ( I had not even taken photo’s at this point…I did not even know if it was worthy of being photographed!) Anyway, so the rustic base was done, and I decided to put it in the oven to bake until golden brown, with a couple holes made with a sharp knife in the base of the pastry (this just helps release some steam and will prevent the phyllo pastry from puffing up). Whilst that was cooking I had to think of a filling and to be honest, I had not decided until this rustic pizza was out of the oven, so it was a matter of grab, chop and disperse.  Feta, cherry tomatoes, rocket, spring onions and toasted sunflower seeds ended up being the topping and so the Semi Healthy Rustic Pizza was born…AWESOME !!!

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Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time 25 minutes

Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients

5-6 sheets phyllo pastry

about 3-4 tablespoons of butter melted

Topping:

1/2 disc of plain Clover Feta Cheese

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 spring onion, sliced thinly

8-10 fresh rocket leaves

a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds

Instructions

Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees C.

Grease a medium sized baking tray.

Separate as best you can the phyllo pasty.  Put a damp cloth on the remaining pastry so it does not dry out.

Place a layer of phyllo pastry on the baking sheet, and moisten liberally with melted butter.  Continue this until all 5/6 sheets are done.

Then fold in the corners and the sides of the pastry, again moisten with melted butter.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the bottom of the phyllo pastry base a few times.

Place in pre-heated oven, until golden brown. (Check after ten minutes.)

Once the pastry is a nice golden brown colour, remove from the oven and continue to fill the pizza base with the crumbled feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and toasted sunflower seeds.

(Alternatively you can use any topping you prefer)

Enjoy 🙂