Anyone who likes to cook, host dinner parties or entertain friends and family has at least a few showcase recipes. One of my favorite that always works and never fails to impress is Chef Rob Feenie's Leek and Cheese Phyllo Tart.
It's a delightfully delicate tart that combines the flavours of leeks, goat and ricotta cheese, dill and chives. Now it uses phyllo pastry and I know many people are a little nervous using phyllo- but honesty there's no reason for nervousness. If the Greeks can use it with success so can the rest of us.
One of the reasons I like this tart so much is that I find using phyllo easier then making pastry. And this tart is rustic in that the edges of the phyllo are just folded over custard, in a free form style.
Leek and Cheese Phyllo Tart (serves 4-6)
1/3 cup melted butter
6-10 sheets of phyllo
For the Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups sliced leeks (about 4-5 leeks)
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olice oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add leeks and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, combine the goat and ricotta cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in the dill, parsley, chives and lightly-beaten eggs until well incorporated. Season with pepper. Once the leeks have softened and cooled a little, stir them into the bowl.
Brush a pie or tart plate with butter. I use a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Brush one sheet with phyllo with butter and place across the pan. Butter a second sheet and overlap the first sheet by three inches. Continue to make a cirlcle using about six to ten sheets, buttering each as you go.
Spoon in the filling and fold over the overhanging edges of the phyllo pasty. Butter the edges using a pastry brush. Place on medium rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.