A filling Filo Tart is the ultimate comfort food for us on an autumn evening. Filled with colourful vegetables and cream cheese, it is a great lower-fat alternative to a quiche.
I am not sure if it’s because it’s getting cold outside or because I love pastry so much, I am craving savoury pies and tarts these days. Our latest obsession is filo pastry: we love the crispiness of it and it’s much lower in fat compared with shortcrust or puff. So here it goes…
Our Favourite Vegetarian Filo Tart
When I make meals that require lots of different ingredients, I like to first gather and weight everything out together. Then I can simply relax and start chopping, shredding, crushing and crumbling. However, when working with filo pastry, keep it in the fridge until you need to use it as it dries out so quickly at room temperature. It will be very hard to work with it without ripping it.
For this recipe I use a simple frying pan to fry all of my vegetable and a cast iron skillet for the tart itself. You can simply use one oven proof pan though to save you the washing up.
I heat the oil and cook leeks until they’re just starting to soften and wilt. I then tip in cubed sweet potato and cook for a further 10 minutes covered with a lid and making sure I stir once in a while.
In goes shredded kale, chopped garlic and chilli flakes. Then cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, season, stir gently to keep potatoes intact and set aside to cool down slightly.
Whilst the vegetables are cooling, beat together cream cheese, eggs, dill (I used frozen from our summer harvest) and lemon zest and some seasoning. Spoon the cooled down sweet potato filling into it and fold everything together.
Turn the oven on to pre-heat to 200C whilst you prepare your filo tart. In an iron cast skillet, lay the first sheet of filo pastry and brush with a little oil. Then lay another sheet but at a different angle. Continue at different angles making sure that the corners of the sheets don’t match up (see photo below).
Scrape your vegetable filling into filo pastry base and dot your goat’s cheese on top (we normally use young creamy goats cheese, but more mature goat’s cheese log will work just as well, albeit a stronger flavour. Fold in the corners of filo pastry inwards over the filling, leaving the centre exposed. Just the finishing touches: brush the pastry with a little more oil and sprinkle with nigella seeds and some salt.
To avoid soggy bottom, I put the skillet on the hob first for around 3 minutes. Then transfer your filo tart to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is crispy and golden.
When your tart is cooked, set it aside uncovered for 8-10 minutes. During this time, the filling will become firmer making it easier to remove from the pan and slice it. We like it with a simple green salad or some chicory.
If you like our Filo Tart, or maybe have some leftover filo pastry, try another favourite of ours:
Sweet Potato and Kale Filo Pastry Tart
- Ovenproof frying pan/ cast iron skillet
- 5 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 250 g leeks (2 small or 1 large leek) sliced
- 320 g sweet potatoes chopped to 1cm cubes
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 130 g cream cheese full or reduced fat
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon zested
- 80 g kale tough cores removed, leaves shredded
- 15 g dill fresh or frozen (use 1 tsp if using dried dill)
- 8 filo pastry sheets
- 100 g goat's cheese
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a ovenproof frying pan or cast iron skillet. Add leeks and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then tip in cubed sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes covered with a lid. Make sure to stir once in a while.
- Stir in kale, chopped garlic and chilli flakes, cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat, season, stir gently to keep potatoes intact and set aside to cool down slightly.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together your cream cheese, eggs, dill and lemon zest and some seasoning. Spoon the cooled down sweet potato filling into it and fold everything together.
- Preheat your oven to 200C Fan. Wipe the pan you used for your vegetables. Lay the first sheet of filo pastry in it and brush with a little oil (no need to brush the pan first). Carry on layering the filo sheets, making sure the corners don't align (lay each sheet at a different angle) and brushing with a little oil in between.
- Tip your creamy vegetable filling into your pastry covered pan and crumble in your goat's cheese on top (or arrange goat's cheese slices if you're using more mature cheese).
- Crumple the pastry inwards over the filling, leaving the middle of the tart exposed and then brush the pastry with a little more oil. Sprinkle with nigella seeds.
- Put your pan back on the hob on medium heat and cook for around 3 minutes to crisp up the bottom of your tart. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until filo pastry is crispy and a lovely golden colour.
- When you remove the pie from the oven, set it aside for 8-10 minutes. The filling will firm up, and it will be easier to remove from the pan and slice it.