All images © Dina Avila
Well this was interesting. Did you know phyllo dough and puff pastry are not the same thing? Similar, of course, but not necessarily to be used interchangeably as I learned this morning. It was one of those early mornings of chopping onions with weeping eyes wondering why I got started before having enough tea. These crazy warm summery spring days we’re having in Portland means the light changes so quickly – beautiful soft light turns into harsh sun in a flash in my kitchen – which means I need to crawl out of bed fairly early if I want to shoot for the blog. So here we are, after a mildly shaky morning with a paring knife wondering what the heck Saveur is talking about, with these, shall we call them ‘rustic’?, savory tarts.
Oh, but they’re good. As we know, rustic is my style, right? So let’s call the whole thing intentional. Julia Child always said to never apologize for your mistakes in the kitchen. So here you go. I made them this way :)
Pickled Fig Savory Tarts with Kale and Fennel
Adapted from Saveur
I used a fig spread that I received as a gift for Christmas (thank you Heather & Brett).
Feel free to substitute the figs for 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium fennel bulb cored and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped in to bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup sheep’s milk feta, crumbled, plus more for topping
1/4 cup picked figs
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1 170z box phyllo dough, thawed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Coarse sea salt
Warm oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown. About 5 minutes.
Stir in fennel and garlic and cook for about another 5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium low and stir in chopped kale.
Add a splash of water, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and fold in feta and parsley.
Season with a few grinds of fresh black pepper.
Warm oven to 375.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly flour a large work surface and lay thawed phyllo dough down.
Divide the phyllo in half, laying the two halves side by side.
With a paring knife, cut about 9 squares out of each half of phyllo.
Take each square and slice an L shaped slit that’s about an inch long onto each corner.
Fold the corners toward each other so they overlap – Trust me, it’s hard to explain which is why I had so much trouble this morning. Fold them in a way that makes sense to you, but you basically want to create a pocket for the filling to rest in.
Using a large spatula, place six of the tarts onto each baking sheet.
Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of the pickled figs into the center of the tarts.
Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of the kale mixture on top of the figs.
Crumble a bit of feta on to each tart.
Place the pans in the oven on two racks and bake for about 30 minutes rotating the pans halfway through.
Serve warm with a bit more crumbled feta and a dusting of coarse sea salt.