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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Four Cheese and Nut Tart

For all the Cheese Lovers out there….this one is for you!!!

I am an all or nothing kind of a girl, and I have pretty much been on a Gluten and Dairy-Free way of eating for quite some time now.  Well, this tart, just threw the gluten thing and dairy thing out the window for me.  But it was all good and totally worth it. I ate salad leaves and cucumber for a solid week just to apologise to my stomach and try and get it back on track from making it consume the gluten and dairy…but that is how it goes once in awhile :-). This was like my all time cheat.  Most people do it with chocolate, I did it with cheese, not one kind, but FOUR!!!

I cannot take all the credit for this amazing tart.  I have had this recipe for ‘yonks’ and every time I page through my recipe collection, this recipe practically haunts me. It is like….bake me, bake me….I swear I literally hear this timid little voice, it is just so sad…..so…. Finally I just did it ! I made it, and it was all that I expected and more ….yes, this tart was AWESOME.

Four Cheese and Nut Tart

Preparation time: 10  minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Total time:  55 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Shortcrust Pasty (I used store-bought, purely due to laziness)

4 jumbo-sized egg yolks

a bunch of spring onions

1/4  small white onion, diced finely

200 gram Cream Cheese (I used Full-Fat as I was on a mission)

125 gram Mascarpone Cheese

250 gram grated Matured Cheddar Cheese

20 – 30 gram grated Parmesan

50 gram dry toasted walnuts, chopped

50 gram dry toasted almonds, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a springform cake tin, approximately 20 centimeters /8 inch in size.

Roll out the pastry and cut out a 23 centimeter /9 inch circle and place the shortcrust pastry into the cake tin.

Prick the pastry all over with a fork and allow to bake for 15 minutes.

Now, in a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and onions.

Add the cream cheese and mascarpone.

Season well with some black pepper.

Add the nuts to the cheese mixture.

Then scatter the matured cheddar cheese on top of the pastry.  Top with the nut and cheese mixture and then lastly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for ten minutes before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  This can also be made ahead of time and placed in the fridge.  Just remember to bring it to room temperature before serving.

 

Kale Crumpets with Tzatziki Sauce

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Look at this!  It is well into Feb and this is my first post for the month!  My plan was not to ever skip a week of posting this year – and I have failed royally at that already.  I am soooooooo slack !!!

Anyway, when I was a kid, my mom frequently made crumpets. She was the best at making them, and would whip up a huge batch in no time! Crumpets usually were served with butter and syrup.  That butter literally melted on the hot crumpet and the syrup just trickled down. Oh, sweet sweet memories 🙂 .

So, just to change things up a bit, I decided to go with a bit of a savoury vibe. I mean, who says breakfast needs to be sweet?  ……Not….I am all for the savoury ones :-). And, even if I say so myself, these make a pretty good savoury breakfast. This is my basic crumpet recipe, with some kale thrown in, no biggie, but really awesome.  When I first made these, I just had them with plain yogurt and lemon, they were nice, but felt they needed something more, so tried adding fruit to the yoghurt, again nice, but I wasn’t 100% sold.  Then I had a light bulb moment, I had Tzatziti Sauce left over from the night before….This for me, did it. I loved the combo. I really felt it really kind of brought it all together.

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Kale Crumpets with Tzatziki Sauce

Preparation time:   5 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time:  15 minutes

Makes 6 – 9 depending on size

Ingredients:

For the crumpets:

1 cup self-raising flour (I used Gluten-Free)

1 cup milk (I used a Lactose-Free Milk)

1 teaspoon castor sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs (I used jumbo sized)

1/2 cup chopped cooked kale (I chopped up 1 cup kale, and nuked it in the microwave for 30 secs, and it shrunk to 1/2 cup)

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

8 – 10 centimeter cucumber, grated

handful of chopped fresh mint

1 clove garlic, minced

160 millilitres plain yoghurt (I used Lactose-Free)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

These quantities can be doubled.  This makes about 175 millilitres of sauce.

Instructions:

For the crumpets:

In a medium-sized bowl add the self-raising flour, castor sugar and baking powder. Whisk.

In a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk with a fork, then add the milk.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until nicely combined.

Stir in the cooked kale.

Heat up a pan on the stove with a little oil, and add a couple tablespoons of mixture into the pan.  When the outer edges of the mixture start to bubble, gently flip over.  You will notice the crumpet is a nice light golden brown. Cook the other side till light golden brown, remove from pan and allow to sit on a paper towel.  Continue this method until all the mixture is used up.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

Squeeze out the excess water from the grated cucumber.  Then, add all the ingredients together (except the salt and pepper). Mix together with a fork or spoon. Taste and then add salt or salt and pepper accordingly.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

  1. The ingredients can be halved, doubled, tripled, whatever.
  2. Also, if you are not a kale fan, feel free to use baby spinach.  In this case though, the baby spinach would not need to be nuked, and also, you could double up on the baby spinach as it is not as bitter as the kale.
  3. This mixture can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of days
  4. All times may vary depending on size of pan, quantity, and how many crumpets you cook at one time