Cooking With Confidence
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Appetizers, Breads, Economical, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Summer Phyllo Tart

by Nick

When it comes to recipes that have a high payoff to work ratio, this recipe is really close to the top of the list.

What I mean by that is that the amount of work you have to put into making this recipe is very small considering the final version which tastes and looks like you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen.

It’s also a really flexible recipe (my favorite kind) so you can use whatever veggies you have around that are very fresh and in season.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Summer Phyllo Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 roll phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (or olive oil)
  • 20 thin asparagus stalks
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 15-20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1) Thaw phyllo dough slowly in the fridge. Remove and unroll the dough, being careful to not break up the thin layers. When not working with a layer, keep the stack covered with a damp paper towel so they don't dry out.

2) Melt butter in a small dish.

3) Add one layer of dough to a baking sheet and brush lightly with butter. No need to cover the whole sheet, just do some strokes in each direction. Add another layer on top and brush again. Repeat until you have a stack of phyllo dough 12-14 layers thick.

4) Brush top layer with butter or olive oil.

5) Top phyllo stack with trimmed and washed asparagus stalks. The thin stalks work better for this recipe.

6) Add corn kernels and halved grape tomatoes to the tart also. Then top with blue cheese and season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

7) Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until it's very crispy around the edges.

8) Slice and serve!

Veggies

I used only three different veggies for my cool looking tart: asparagus, tomatoes, and corn. I chose these pretty much randomly by walking through the store and picking stuff that looked colorful and fresh.

As far as I can tell, you could use almost any vegetable in existence for this dish. Just pick fresh stuff and you can barely go wrong.

veg

Simple summer veg.

As far as prep goes, there isn’t much to do for the veggies. I just cut the corn off the cob, trimmed the asparagus ends and washed them, and cut the grape tomatoes in half.

Not rocket science, people.

prepped

Not much prep to do here…

Dealing with the Phyllo

If there’s any step that will make you pause about this recipe, it’s the phyllo dough. Not that it is actually that hard, but it just looks intimidating. After all, look at all those layers!

Luckily, you don’t have to make the phyllo dough. You can buy that stuff. It comes frozen and once you thaw it, you’ll be left with this roll of very thin sheets of dough. Each roll has around 18 sheets of dough I think.

The key to getting the dough to stay flaky and create the crunchy layers that are so delicious is to lightly brush each sheet with butter or olive oil and then layer them on top of each other.

This might sound like a lot of work but it takes all of five minutes.

This is the setup I use for my phyllo prep. The damp paper towel is the most important part. When you are working with the sheets, keep them covered or they will dry out and crack really quickly. Especially if you live in a desert like I do!

phyllo

Get it?

Start with one piece of air-thin dough and add it to a baking sheet. Then brush it lightly with melted butter or olive oil. If you want to be official about it you should be using clarified butter for this, but I just melted my butter in the microwave on low and it worked fine for this recipe.

After you lay down a layer of dough, just give it a very light coating of butter and then lay down the next layer. You don’t need to completely cover each layer. Just give it a quick brush.

butter

Olive oil would also work.

Don’t stress it if your dough gets some folds in it or tears in spots. There are so many layers that it won’t matter for this.  If we were making spanakopita you would have to be a bit more careful, but for this it matters not.

Finishing the Tart

Once you have a good amount of layers (I shoot for 12-14 layers), then brush the top layer with a healthy amount of butter or oil and now we can start stacking on toppings.

Asparagus first!

asparagus

Fancy eh?

Then corn and tomatoes. For the tomatoes, try to position them with the cut side UP so the juice evaporates out of them as they bake.

piled

Pile it on.

Finally, sprinkle some blue cheese over the whole tart and season it with a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Don’t over-do it on the blue cheese. A light layer of it is perfect.

blue cheese

Love this part!

Bake this beauty at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until the edges are brown and crispy.

Let it cool briefly when it comes out of the oven and then you can slice into it using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

It should be almost like a really thin, crispy pizza.

sliced

So crispy!

If you are lucky enough to snag a corner of this thing, you are in for a treat. Honestly, I could eat phyllo with nothing on it. I just love the crunchy, flaky texture, but a bunch of fresh veggies doesn’t hurt either.

piece

Get a piece.

This dish took me under twenty minutes to toss together and I was taking photos and stuff!

Betsy and I ate this for dinner, but I could see chopping it into small pieces and serving it as an appetizer also.

If you have any ideas for fun toppings on it, leave a comment!

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14 comments on “Summer Phyllo Tart

  1. Nick, the tart is absolutely gorgeous! Do you think using greens like spinach or chard would make it soggy? I have the end of the spinach in the garden to use up before it gets hot here and it bolts to seed. Love the idea of cutting it up for an appetizer.

    1. I think you could use either judy. I would just roughly chop them and sprinkle them on top. Think it would work fine!

      Good luck!

  2. I love to do something similar with tomatoes and mozzarella but I like to add fresh basil and sometimes even avocado after it’s been baked. (True confession? Shh don’t tell; I typically also use puff pastry; even quicker!)

    Love the corn…have to try that.

  3. Do you recommend cutting with phyllo with a pizza cutter before baking? Would that help with shattering of the crust, or is that not an issue?

    1. You could do that, sure. It doesn’t really bother me though to shatter a bit. That’s what it is made to do after all.

  4. Ooh, I think I might make this for a get-together I’m going to on Friday! I’d use feta cheese instead though because I know the host isn’t a fan of blue cheese. I think Feta will be lovely!

  5. Oh, yum! I will be making this, though I may have to add some prosciutto to make my meat loving daughter happy.

    As an aside, if you ever live anywhere you can get fresh phyllo it’s amazing. Nothing like the frozen stuff ( which I use all the time based on where I live), it’s just a totally different thing.

  6. I have never used phyllo before. Does it usually have partially hydrogenated oil in it? Just wondering since a lot of premade pie crusts do. Also, if you only use about 12 sheets, how do you use up the remainder? Thanks!

  7. I made this yesterday for a gathering, subbing feta for blue cheese because that is what I had on hand. And I used a yellow pepper instead of corn because I felt like it.

    I used ground red pepper instead of the flakes to avoid the surprise bite. I also added the smallest amount of ground cloves giving it an almost Moroccan flavor. I have no idea why I tried that, but it worked.

    I am making it again today (by request) for a different set of guests. Since this will be the main course and includes people who don’t understand that a meal can exist without meat, I added cooked, crumbled turkey sausage. With a salad…what a summer meal!

  8. Just made this for lunch and it was amazing! It was my first time ever working with phyllo and was really easy to deal with. Cant wait to experiment with all different kinds of toppings!

    Nick- I discovered your blog about 2 months ago and have probably made at least 4 recipes from it each week so I just wanted to give a big thanks for all of your hard work and creativeness! I consider myself a pretty good cook but I’m not the best with knowing what goes well with what, so thanks again for all of your inspiration!

      1. We used the left over phyllo to make a simple
        sugar and cinnamon dessert… Messy but very decadent!

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