A simple ricotta, asparagus, cherry tomato, lemon & dill, flakey filo pastry tart. Perfect for a light summer dinner, lunch or brunch. If you’ve never worked with filo before it’s so simple to use that’ll you’ll be whipping up filo pies and tarts in no time!
- 12 medium sized fresh asparagus spears (or 14 small/10 large)
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small or 1/2 medium sized lemon (you need 1 teaspoon of the zest)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 3 large eggs (i used size 7’s)
- 1 cup ricotta (250 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 50 grams butter (3 1/2 tablespoons)
- 7 pieces filo pastry
- Optional – 1/2 cup torn up smoked salmon slices or pastrami.
- Optional – 1 tablespoon black or green sliced olives
You will need a 25 cm (10 inch) round quiche/flan tin.
- Rinse the asparagus with cold water and then using your fingers, snap off the stalk ends.
- Fill a frying pan or large saucepan (big enough for the asparagus to lie flat) with water.
- Over a high heat bring the water to a boil and then place the asparagus into the water. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until they are just tender but not soft.
- Remove them from the water and place them into a colander or a sieve and then gently run some cold water over them to cool them down.
- Chop them into 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) pieces and set them aside.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, zest the lemon and remove the dill from any thick stalks, also tearing up any large leaves. Set aside also.
- Place a rack in the middle of the bottom half of the oven then preheat to 170°C fan bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake.
- Place the butter into a little saucepan and leave it to melt over a low heat. Set it aside.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs together until they are broken up and frothy.
- Add the asparagus pieces (but not the tips), the lemon zest, the dill, the ricotta and the salt and pepper.
- Fold it all together and if using salmon or pastrami fold it through last.
- If you haven’t used filo pastry before when you have the filo laid out on your board or bench you may like to place a well wrung out damp tea towel over it because if you take a long time when working with it, it will dry out and go crumbly.
- Lay out all of the filo onto a board or your clean bench and carefully peel one piece from the top of the pile and place it onto another board or your bench.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted butter all over it (you don’t need to fully cover it, I usually cover just over 3/4 of it).
- Lay another piece directly on top of the buttered one and butter it also.
- Spray your dish with non-stick cooking spray or grease by lightly brushing on some of the melted butter with the pastry brush.
- Then place the two sheets into and over your dish (no need to fold the sides in yet).
- Repeat by buttering another sheet of filo, laying another one on top, buttering that also and then lay them over like the first but lay them over the tin in a different place than the first time, on an angle (you can’t go too wrong here, it’s a rustic looking tart).
- Do it again with another two sheets, laying them over where you think there’s a gap.
- Now loosely fold all of the sides in and again it’s not meant to look perfect, it will lose its simple charm!
- Now brush one more layer of filo with the butter and again lay it over top of the whole thing and fold the edges right into the tart bottom of the dish, giving the bottom an extra layer.
- Pour out the contents of the bowl into the buttery filo casing and nicely place the asparagus tips and the cherry tomato halves all over the top. Also if you are using sliced olives scatter them over the top too.
- If you are a black pepper freak like me you can crack a little over here.
- Pop it into your preheated oven and bake it for 20 minutes or until the centre of the tart is firm to touch and the filo is golden brown.
- Leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before using a very sharp knife to slice it up. If your tin has a spring bottom carefully lift that out and then with the help of a spatula slide the tart onto a plate and then cut it (if your knife isn’t sharp it will push the tomatoes into the tart and it won’t look as pretty).
- Serve warm with a small garnish for lunch or a large salad and some nice crusty bread for dinner.
For more pics and a detailed walkthrough please visit my blog – http://www.taniaskitchen.co.nz/asparagus-dill-ricotta-filo-tart/