When it comes to Mediterranean food, we're smitten. And, Lebanese food ranks up there as some of our all-time fave cuisine (the freshness! the flavors! the elegance)! So, when Maureen came out with her gorgeous book, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, celebrating that very food, we had to share it with you. From some of the best hummus we've had to this gorgeous galette, it's a total keeper!
Maureen: I have so much fun working with phyllo dough for Lebanese pastry that it inspires me to use the dough in lots of other ways. This rustic tart comes out of the oven so golden and gorgeous: it’s a showstopper.
(you can substitute plain whole milkl Greek yogurt)
plus more for drizzling
thawed according to package directions
Heat the oven to 375˚F / 190˚C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk the labneh, garlic, and salt. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sear the tomatoes cut-side down for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are caramelized and golden brown. Using tongs, gently remove the tomatoes to a plate, and set them aside.
Cover the phyllo dough with plastic wrap and a lightly dampened clean kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out as you work (quickly!). Place one sheet of phyllo on the prepared sheet pan and use a pastry brush to dab it with a thin coat of butter. The butter need not coat every inch of the phyllo perfectly. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the buttered sheet rotated a half-turn in the opposite direction, so that the edges hang over the long side of the first sheet. Brush with butter, and repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo, alternating the direction of the phyllo as it is placed over the last sheet.
Phyllo dough typically comes in two sizes: 9 x 14- inch / 23 x 35 cm sheets or 14 x 18-inch / 35 x 45 cm sheets. For this recipe, use the smaller-sized sheets if you can find them. To use larger phyllo, simply trim the short side a few inches so that there isn’t too much phyllo dough around the edges of the galette. Serve the galette as an appetizer or with a salad as a light meal.
Spoon the labneh into the center of the phyllo and spread into a circle, 8 to 10 inches / 20 to 25 cm. Arrange the caramelized tomatoes, cut-side up, in concentric circles on top of the labneh. Scatter the sliced olives over the tomatoes. Lift one edge of the phyllo layers and fold it over the filling to form the start of a 3-inch / 7.5 cm edge.
Repeat the folding, working your way all the way around the circle and folding each section that is lifted over the last section. Brush the phyllo lip generously with the remaining butter. Bake the tart until the phyllo is crisp and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Drizzle the center of the tart with olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Cut the tart into wedges and serve it warm or at room temperature.
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Photo by Jason Varney