Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fresh Produce Improv

After last week's farmers market visit, I had some beautiful produce laying around the kitchen, calling out for me to use it. The tomatoes I bought were perfectly ripe and a gorgeous red color, and I knew I couldn't resist the two-toned asparagus for long. I had also picked up some Mediterrian Seasoned Feta cheese at Trader Joe's, and I knew it's flavors would pair perfectly with these vegetables. My first inspiration came from Proud Italian Cook's Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Tart. Her blog is full of delicious looking Italian treats, and I knew that this Tomato tart would be the foundation of my own Tomato and Asparagus Tart.

A visit to our nearby grocery store, however, changed my plans. I try to avoid the regular grocery store near our house, going instead to the fantastic Mexican grocery store that is a short 2 blocks from my condo. This store has great values on beautiful produce, and has a pretty solid assortment of regular groceries as well. They don't carry everything a regular grocery store has, though, and I ended up in front of a cooler full of phyllo dough, but no puff pastry to be found! So I went to plan B-- Tomato and Asparagus Tart with Phyllo crust.

This was an adventure, since I have never used phyllo dough before. I found some tips on Bridget's blog, and just decided to see how things turned out. My phyllo didn't fall apart too much, and I was liberal with melted butter as I put the layers together. I roasted the tomatoes and asparagus separately before putting the tart together, so the cooking time was not too long. The tart did end up a bit soggy on the bottom, but the combination of flavors was enough to keep me happy. It felt like a summery dish, and would be great to make again as an appetizer when we have company over.

I roasted the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbes de provence.

The asparagus were roasted with oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.

Not going to lie to you, it's getting late and Blogger keeps posting this picture sideways. So that is just how it's meant to be. Once the veggies are roasted, here's what you do.

Put a layer of phyllo dough on a baking sheet, and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet on top, smooth out, and brush with butter. Repeat until you have 5 phyllo sheets stacked up. As you're using the phyllo, keep a wet dish towel covering what you're not using, to keep it from drying out.

When the layers are in place, spread the feta cheese on top, leaving a 1 inch edge around the outside. Top the feta with the roasted vegetables. Fold over the layers of phyllo, and brush the edges with more melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

I was too excited to eat to take any successful post-baking pictures, but in the picture at the beginning of this post you can see the tart in the bottom corner. It was so good, and now that I've tried using phlyo I'm excited to see what else I can do with it!


Pat said...

Erin, your Tomato tart looks delicious!!! And your table is set so lovely!!!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Everything looks good and in order.

Katie said...

That tart is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Erin, Your tart and your table look beautiful! I'm glad I inspired you a little, and I really appreciate your comments. Thanks!