Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tomato Phyllo Pie

Earlier this week, I made this pie to have a quick meal with leftovers that would work cold. So much of what I cook, I don't bother posting as it seems too "ordinary" however, with New Year's Eve coming up], I thought this could be pressed into service as an appetiser. It also works as a main course with a nice salad. I don't remember where I first came across this recipe, but it isn't original. I've done my own thing with it over the years, but I see no reason you can't do the same, and add greens, or use vegan cheeses, or whatever else you like. Phyllo is so versatile, and quick once you get the hang of working with it. Make sure you have it completely thawed, and at room temperature before you start working, or the sheets will become a fiddly mess. If you're slow with this sort of thing, keep the sheets beneath a damp towel as you work to keep them from drying out-personally, I never bother, but I'm comfortable working with phyllo.

You Will Need:

20 sheets phyllo (about 1/2 package)
3-4 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin and drained
4-5 shallots, sliced thin
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a stem's worth of fresh leaves if you have them)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
Olive oil for cooking and brushing phyllo sheets
1 cup cheese (I used a combination of romano and provolone)grated
Optional handful of sliced olives

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking sheet. Cook the shallots in about a tablespoon of olive oil with the herbs over medium heat until they are soft, but not browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Salt carefully as the cheese you use may be salty.

 Layer 10 sheets of phyllo in the pan brushing each lightly with olive oil as you go. Spread half the cheese over the phyllo, then arrange the tomatoes in a layer. If using olives, arrange them as well. Spread the cooked shallots over the tomatoes, then top with remaining cheese. Layer another ten sheets as before, and when completed, tuck the sides under inside the pan. If you have extra phyllo sheets, crumple them up, and place them atop the pie. Brush everything (including the crumpled phyllo) with more oil, and pierce the pie several times with a sharp knife. Bake about 40 minutes, or until deeply golden. Let it stand at least five minutes (ten is better) before cutting.

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