Tasty Tarts

I can’t take credit for this delicious recipe, since I found it in an old Style at Home magazine, but I will take credit for the great reactions it gets.

The recipe is actually fairly simple, so don’t get scared off by having to work with the phyllo pastry. The trick to working with this finicky ingredient is to make sure it is properly defrosted. If it is, it won’t crack, and as long as you’re gentle, it can actually be like a fun art project!

As usual, I’ve altered the original recipe a bit- instead of using the lemon thyme it called for, I used lemon zest and about 1/2 of the thyme it called for; and instead of brushing each sheet of phyllo with oil, I just sprayed it with a bit of PAM. The one thing that I don’t recommend changing from the original is replacing the butter with oil- it really does change the flavour and there isn’t so much in this that it’ll kill any diet you may be on.

Enjoy, and let me know if there are any other recipes you’d like me to post!

Asparagus and Leek Tart

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Makes 4 tarts

5 sheets of phyllo pastry, defrosted well
1 cup light grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on the phyllo
1 container of light ricotta cheese (I used a 454g container, but had a little left over)
1 egg
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp lemon zest
2 large leeks
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash and cut the leeks (using only the white and very pale green parts) into rounds, and cut the asparagus in halves. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, egg, lemon, thyme and salt and pepper (I actually left the s+p out this time and it was still great). Set aside.
  4. Lay one sheet of the phyllo pastry out flat. Spray it lightly with PAM, and then sprinkle some parmesan cheese over it. Lay another sheet of phyllo directly on top, pressing down slightly, then repeat the PAM and cheese until you’ve layered all of the sheets.
  5. Using a sharp knife, lightly cut a line directly down the centre of the phyllo layers, and then across the middle, so that you have 4 equal pieces of the phyllo.
  6. Spray 4 oven-safe ramekins, then put one of the 4 pieces of phyllo into each ramekin, shaping it into it.
  7. Heat a large frying pan or wok, and melt the butter in it. Add in the leeks, and then a few minutes later the asparagus, and let it cook until the leeks are slightly browned and the asparagus is bright green.
  8. While the vegetables are cooking, spoon one quarter of the cheese mixture into each of the ramekins on top of the phyllo.
  9. When the vegetables are done, spoon one quarter of the mixture on top of the cheese in each ramekin.
  10. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and into the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes.

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