I may no longer be a full-fledged vegetarian, but my taste buds still love veggie-based meals. And because we try as a family to eat meatless at least three times a week, I knew Chatelaine’s spinach and feta phyllo tart (from the Holiday 100+ best recipes) was going to make the dinner list.
If you like Spanakopita (a Greek pie with spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo), you’ll love this tart. And despite it being meat-free, it was hearty and oh, so tasty (even the meat-loving husband had to agree). The tart’s filling was easy to make, and I bought chopped frozen spinach rather than whole leaf, which cut down on prep time even more. I didn’t have fresh nutmeg so I used ground, and I added slightly less fresh dill than the ½ cup the recipe called for (wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be with full amount). Within a few minutes the filling was ready and I turned my attention to the phyllo and my never-before-used spring form pan (a wedding gift from SEVEN years ago).
Now if you’ve never worked with phyllo dough before, it can be a bit finicky. It tears easily and dries out pretty quickly if you don’t keep a damp towel on it (damp paper towel works well). I followed the “how to perfect phyllo pastry” tip boxes included with the recipe (the pictures really helped too), and my tart crust turned out great. But it did take some time to handle the sheets, brush them with the melted butter, and layer them over the springform pan to try and achieve an even crust. The first few sheets were a bit rough, but after that I got the hang of it.
Once the crust is ready, you fill it with the spinach mixture and use the remaining phyllo sheets (cut in four squares and crumpled into loose balls) on the top of the tart. I actually needed to use two additional sheets over the two the recipe called for to cover the top of the tart. A quick and light butter brushing on top, and in the oven the dish went for an hour.
The tart was delicious and substantial, and despite big servings, we still had leftovers for another meal. It’s definitely going into the meatless meals rotation. The only thing? Make sure your have dental floss or toothpicks on hand…spinach has a tendency to ruin even the prettiest of smiles.
Try this recipe: Spinach and feta phyllo tart