Any time I've ever read anything about phyllo dough--whether in a magazine, a cookbook, or another blog, it always mentions how difficult it is to work with. I've read about how easily it tears, how crucial it is to cover the pieces you aren't using, and how temperamental it is in general. Do you blame me for avoiding it?!
Often times when my mom pays a visit, she comes bearing food gifts, usually things like leftover quinoa that won't be good by the time she's back in town (so I use it for cookies!) or, most recently, half a package of phyllo dough. Because the thought of wasting food makes me cringe, I knew it was time to conquer phyllo.
One night after work I got to work. Not sure what to expect, I probably looked like the Tasmanian devil ripping around my kitchen...so paranoid was I that my dough would immediately dry out. As it turned out, the phyllo wasn't nearly as finicky as I'd anticipated. My first piece tore as I placed it in my baking dish, but the rest of the process went quite smoothly.
The finished product was a pleasant surprise. The flavors reminded me a bit of this egg dish. My only lesson for next time is MORE oil/butter on each layer--mine was flaky but could've been even flakier! This would be lovely as a breakfast, brunch, or lunch dish. If you're not up for working with phyllo, I think this would work just as well with a store bought pie crust pressed into a pie dish (you'd likely have enough filling for almost 2 pies!).
One Year Ago: Southern Banana Pudding (WHY haven't I made this again?!)
Two Years Ago: Pesto Roasted Vegetables
Mushroom, Spinach, and Scallion Tart with Goat Cheese
-1 lb mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick (called for a mixture, I used all button)
-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1 tsp kosher salt
-12 scallions, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, washed & shaken dry
-3 1/2 cups (4 oz) flat leaf spinach, stemmed, washed, and shaken dry
-10 sheets phyllo dough (14 x 9 inch)
-4 oz fresh goat cheese
-3 large eggs
-1/3 cup milk (I used half and half)
-3 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs (I omitted, none on hand)
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss mushrooms with 2 tbsp olive oil and 3/4 tsp salt. Place on lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Add scallions and roast for an additional 15 minutes. Move mushrooms and scallions to one side of pan. Add spinach to empty side and roast until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool briefly and then squeeze spinach dry.
2. Brush an 11 x 7 inch pan (or a 10-inch round pan) lightly with some of the remaining olive oil. Working with one piece of phyllo dough at a time (keep the rest covered under a damp towel), place sheet on tart pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place a second sheet of phyllo into the pan and brush with oil. Continue with remaining sheets. Fold edges at top. (I placed most sheets in one direction and a few in the opposite direction--horizontally, 2 across--in order to best cover the entire pan.)
3. Form a double layer of aluminum foil into a rectangle and place on top of phyllo. Place pan on baking sheet and baking for 7 minutes, until edges are set. Remove foil and baking an additional 3 minutes, until golden all over. Remove from oven, leaving baking sheet.
4. Reduce oven to 375F. Puree goat cheese, eggs, milk, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt in a blender until smooth. Add herbs and pulse to combine. Spread roasted vegetables over crust and pour custard over the top.
5. Place tart on baking sheet in oven and bake until custard is set, 20-23 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before cutting and serving.