This is my kind of fast food! Phyllo (filo or fillo) dough is paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough used for making pastries. A popular dessert using filo pastry is baklava but there are oodles of other sweet and savory dishes out there using filo pastry. When cooked, filo pastry is crispy and flaky and melts in your mouth. For more delicious filo recipes, click here.
olive oil spray
4 filo pastry sheets
500g mixed marinated vegetables (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes), well drained
50g pitted Kalamata olives
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
250g low-fat fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons good-quality pesto
small basil leaves to garnish
Preheat oven to 200c (400f). Lightly spray a 12cm x 35cm loose-bottomed tart pan with oil. Stack filo sheets on top of each other, spraying lightly with oil in between, then use to line the tart pan, trimming edges to fit. Line filo with baking paper, fill with pastry weights or uncooked rise and bake 3 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove paper and weights and bake for a further 3-4 minutes until filo is crisp and golden. Set aside to cool (15 minutes).
Meanwhile, pat all the vegetables well with paper towel to remove excess oil, then cut into bite-size pieces and toss gently with olives, lemon juice and a little pepper. Mix ricotta, pesto lemon zest and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Carefully spread this mixture over the cooked filo base. Arrange the vegetable mixture on top, sprinkle with basil leaves. Slice and serve with a green salad.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Beautiful flavors! Other pesto flavorings to consider beside basil are: coriander, tomato, cashew or leek for the base. Use your own favorite grilled or marinated vegetables to add to the tart. I don’t have a rectangle tart pan so I used a flat pan and lined it with parchment paper. Place a filo sheet on the pan, scrunch it up to form sides and repeat the process for each filo sheet.