Author Notes: Channeling the "waste not, want not" theory that both of my grandparents and parents instilled in me, I am always looking for ways to use all the contents of my refrigerator, root baskets, and pantry. This is one such recipe. It is inspired by Greek style spanikopitas and packs a punch with the use of both beans and greens with a healthy addition of sweet and red potatoes. I made this while in a vegan funk (in a good way) but now, would serve it with grilled lamb, lamb meatballs, and a minty yogurt sauce.
I made it in my 12" paella pan but any dish approximately that diameter would work as well. Make it a one crust torte by just layering the phyllo on the bottom of the pan and bringing the edges up like you would a crostada. - testkitchenette
Serves about 8
Sweet Potato Phyllo Torte
- 1-1/2 pound sweet potatoes or yams, chopped into 1/2" dice (no need to peel)
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2" dice (no need to peel)
- 6 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3-4 sprigs olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1-2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- generous grindings of black pepper
- pinches pinch of red pepper flakes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 packets chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry of all moisture
- 1/3 cup dried currants (plumped in 1/3 c. white wine and drained...sip the wine)
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- handfuls handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- approximately 1/2 package phyllo dough (your choice, whole wheat/spelt/regular)
- bowl of olive oil and a pastry brush
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use crushed whole wheat seasoned matzoh)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes/yams, potatoes, shallots, chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and toss until evenly coated. Divide between two sheet pans and bake until well caramelized, around 30-40 minutes (scraping and tossing during baking process). Take vegetables out of oven and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the drained spinach, currants, and almonds. Check for seasoning.
- Drop oven temperature to 350F.
Pine Nut Cream
- 3/4 cups pine nuts (soaked in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and drained)
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all Pine Nut Cream ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Pour over and mix into the yam/sweet potato mixture above.
- ASSEMBLY: Put phyllo sheets on a sheet pan lined with a damp towel and cover with a damp towel. Brush the paella pan with some olive oil and carefully lift two phyllo sheets at a time and layer into pan, brushing each layer with olive oil until you have 8-10 sheets total. The edges will hang over the sides (make sure to get some olive oil on the edges).
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the phyllo crust and spread evenly. Pour the vegetable and pine nut cream mixture over the phyllo crust. Bring the hanging pieces of phyllo dough over the mixture to cover it (it might not cover the whole thing). Bake for approximately 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Let sit for 20 minutes before cutting.