Tomato Basil Phyllo, Fillo, or Filo Tart

August 20, 2010

The Tomato Basil Phyllo Tart recipe was definitely a keeper as well. It was my 2nd favorite of the evening.

Chef Terese gave us some tips on how to go about defrosting the phyllo dough. She suggested defrosting it in the fridge overnight. The important part is to keep it moist when you are working with the dough – it dries out really fast. She used damp towels to cover the sheets she wasn’t working with. A student asked why you can’t just put it on the kitchen counter to thaw and she explained that it becomes a big, clumpy mess. The layers all stick together.

Below is a photo of the beautiful tart before cooking.

The Ingredients:
7 Sheets of Phyllo – thawed
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter – melted
1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiano
1 Cup Onion – very thinly sliced – she used sweet white and kept them in their raw form
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
Heirloom Tomatoes – cut into 1/8 inch thick slices – enough to cover the baking sheet – she used 3 large – 8 Roma could be substituted.
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, cut into a chiffonade – This is accomplished by stacking the basil leaves – or any herb leaves, rolling them tightly, then cutting across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife – this produces fine ribbons.
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Brandy Wine, Vintage Wine and Black Pineapple Heirlooms were sliced for the tart. Chef Terese suggested laying the slices on stacked paper towels to help absorb any extra juices – you don’t want them super moist. – You can then collect the seeds off the paper towels to grow your own heirlooms. Yep, totally see that happening, hah!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a large half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil spray or brush with vegetable oil. Lay one sheet of phyllo (She used The Filo Factory – Organic Filo Dough) onto the parchment and brush with butter and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano. No worries if it tears a little while brushing with butter – the phyllo layers are stacked – the only important one is the top layer… and even that will be covered with the tomato slices.  Repeat the butter/cheese process with the remaining 6 layers – pressing down the layers so they stick to one another.

Scatter the top with the thinly sliced onions and top with the mozzarella. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the phyllo, onion, and cheese slightly overlapping the tomatoes.

Sprinkle top with basil and salt and pepper. A tip for the basil – soak the basil in water for an hour so it won’t turn black while cooking in the oven.

The colors were so vibrant – I hoped that they would look as pretty when they came out of the oven and they were. Bake the tart until phyllo is crisp and golden brown – approximately 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

The tart looked amazing out of the oven. Chef Terese was able to use a spatula to just slide it right out of the pan onto her prep board. She then cut it into rectangular pieces for us to taste.

I could have eaten the entire pan. The butter flavored flaky crust… combined with the sweetness of the tomato – OMG, so freakin’ good! Even though there was 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and a 1/2 cup of Parmigiano, the heirlooms were the star.

My Dad asked if I was going to be digging up the lawn in the backyard to plant my heirloom tomato garden – too funny. I think I’ll stick to letting the pros take care of the growing. I’ll just keep buying them at the food co-op, Nugget Market and Whole Foods. I might need a second job to fund my new heirloom habit, but I’m o.k. with that. 🙂

Tomato lover? Tomato hater? Do tell…



  1. Sadly, I was a tomato hater as a kid and I lived next door to my Grandma who had a garden full of tomaotes. Now I love them and she’s not around to grow them… 😦 That tart was really good and I will definitely be making it!!!

  2. These look incredible! When you come down next month we’ll likely have tomatoes for you guys to take home. With the mild weather recently, it’s taking a long time for them to ripen.

    • Awesome, can’t wait.

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