By Brianne Dela Cruz; Illume Co.
As the flora and fauna wake from their winter slumber, so do I. Like a bright-eyed yearling, I emerge from the wool and down that make up my winter nest, and venture into familiar territory that’s awash with new colors, textures, and scents. The landscape, renewed, reveals a fanciful explosion of life around every corner. Echoing the chipper celebration from the neighborhood flock of robins, my soul welcomes the reemergence of warmth, sunshine, and the smell of damp earth. Springtime has arrived. I am ready for it.
With spring and all things green fresh on my mind, I crafted up a savory seasonal dish to celebrate the first leafy vegetables of the year. This savory spring herb tart is eggy, buttery, and brightly seasoned throughout with fresh seasonal greens, herbs, and parmesan. It's a dish that enlivens our senses, nourishes our bellies, and reminds our taste buds of garden fresh food.
The flakey phyllo dough and farm-fresh eggs elevate this combination of ingredients from a fancy omelette to an artisan quiche. The phyllo crowns the tart and offers a beautiful butter-y crunch to every bite. To really dress it up, I’ve topped this savory tart with burrata cheese, salty prosciutto, a dash of red pepper flakes, and a few more herbs doused in lemon juice. If you want to make this savory tart heartier, you can easily add more eggs. Baseline is 8, but adding a full dozen to a 10” dutch oven increases the thickness from a 1” tart to a 2 ½” tart. Although, if you choose to do this, plan to leave the dutchie on the coals for an additional 15 minutes.
Enjoy this seasonal dish in the bright springtime sun for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. It can just as easily be crafted over the fire on a camping trip, or in the backyard garden. I’ll be enjoying this open-fired meal with friends to celebrate the Spring Equinox and probably again on Easter Sunday as well as for Mother’s Day Brunch. This dish is so mouth-wateringly delicious, be prepared to field requests for this spring herb savory tart many times throughout the season. Or, at least make a double batch because these slices get devoured quickly!
Savory Spring Herb Tart with Burrata Cheese
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min
15-20 Sheets Phyllo dough
⅔ Cup Milk
8 Fresh eggs
1 Tbsp Fresh chives; finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme; plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp Fresh basil; finely chopped, plus more for garnish
¾ cup Spinach; cut in fine ribbons
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Small red shallots, thinly sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
5 Tbsp Butter
½ Lemon; squeezed
4 oz Burrata cheese
2 oz Prosciutto
Salt & pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
- Heat 30 coals in a briquet basket.
- Coat a 10” dutch oven with 1 Tbsp of butter.
- Layer phyllo dough in dutch oven three to four sheets thick, covering all walls.
- Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Toss most herbs with the garlic, shallots, and spinach ribbons, then layer on top of phyllo dough in dutch oven. Set aside some herbs for topping.
- Sprinkle parmesan over greens.
- Layer 3 Tbsp of butter over parmesan.
- Pour egg mixture over the top of the parmesan and herb mixture in the dutch oven.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25 min. Do not lift the lid for the first 15 min. Egg mixture will puff up while cooking. To check when the tart is done, remove the lid, and tap the side of the dutch oven to see if the mixture jiggles. If the mixture looks liquidy or jiggles a lot then it’s not done. When the phyllo dough and the top of the tart is golden brown, and it doesn’t jiggle anymore then the tart is finished cooking.
- Remove from coals to cool. The tart will deflate to about 1” thick.
- Mix the remainder of the herbs with lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Pat the top of the tart with 1 Tbsp butter, then pour the lemon herb mixture over the top.
Garnish the tart with torn burrata cheese and prosciutto, then season with red pepper flakes.
Brianne Dela Cruz is a Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Master Gardener, and Naturalist. Her blog ILLUME CO. is "A journal devoted to slow & sustainable living, connecting to nature, and travel - to being present and elevating the everyday mundane. It’s about exploring the planet and caring for Her. It’s about tending the earth and cultivating awareness. Most of all, it’s about finding the beauty within the imperfections, embracing each season of life, and allowing our inner light to shine bright."
Follow her at @illume.co
Read more from her blog at www.illumecoblog.com