Eggplant & Shishito Phyllo Pie From Pierce Abernathy

May 16, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Ericka Martins.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

A spring onion compound butter made with Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter—a rich, creamy cultured butter with notes of nuttiness and a slight tang—is the star of this savory summer pie. (Note: Salted or unsalted is fine, just be sure to skip the teaspoon of salt if using salted.) Layers of thin, flaky phyllo hold a filling of tender charred eggplant, blistered shishitos, and fragrant chard. For the best results, transfer the cooked and mixed filling into a colander or strainer to get rid of any excess moisture before adding to the phyllo. Don’t skimp on the amount of sheets you use for the bottom of this pie—the filling produces quite a bit of moisture that will continue to release when baked, so having enough sheets on the bottom ensures a perfectly crispy pie. —Pierce AbernathyFood52

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Vermont Creamery. —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Eggplant & Shishito Phyllo Pie From Pierce Abernathy
  • For the compound butter:
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)
  • 4 spring onions (white and green parts), roots removed and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • For filling and assembly:
  • 8 ounces phyllo dough (20 sheets), at room temperature
  • Neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1½ pounds), quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound shishito peppers, stems removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch rainbow or Swiss chard (about ½ pound), roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Black and white sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Make the compound butter: Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook until slightly charred on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove spring onions and garlic from oil, transfer to a small bowl, and allow to cool. Do not wipe out the pan (you’ll use it later).
  3. Add the spring onion, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest to a food processor and pulse until rough paste forms. Add in the softened butter and pulse until a smooth compound butter forms. Transfer the compound butter to a saucepan and heat over medium until fully melted. Once melted, set aside in a small bowl to cool.
  4. Prepare the filling: Preheat the same large skillet on medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons neutral oil. Working in batches, add the eggplant cubes and fry until lightly browned and fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes per batch; replenish the skillet with an additional 2 tablespoons neutral oil per batch, as needed. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate or drying rack and immediately season with a big pinch of salt. Set aside.
  5. Bring the skillet up to high heat and add 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Add the shishito peppers, season with a big pinch of salt, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing often until charred and softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium and add 1 to 2 tablespoons neutral oil. Add the chopped chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted and stems begin to soften. Add the tomato paste, garlic, fresh thyme, fennel seeds and a big pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring often, for another 5 to 10 minutes (the chard stems should be soft). Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the shishitos. Add in the eggplant and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt, if necessary.
  7. Assemble the pie: Using a pastry brush, brush the melted compound butter on the bottom and sides of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Keeping the stack of phyllo dough covered with a damp towel while you work, add one sheet of phyllo dough to the dish and brush with the melted compound butter so that it is evenly coated; repeat with the compound butter until 10 sheets of phyllo dough line the dish. Add in the filling and spread evenly. Top the filling with a phyllo sheet and brush with compound butter; repeat until 10 sheets of phyllo top the dish.
  8. Fold any excess phyllo out toward the sides of the baking dish and tuck it in, to create a sort of pie crust. Then, using a sharp knife, score the pie by slicing the top layer of phyllo into 15 to 20 slices, depending on how large you want them (this is much easier to do before the phyllo is baked). Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the pastry is lightly browned and fully cooked. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’re adding, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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1 Review

Darian September 18, 2022
I was really curious as to how the eggplant, shishitos and chard were going to come together. It was really delicious, and more harmonious than I expected. I served as a meatless main and it was filling and satisfying. I tend to be a little heavy-handed when it comes to brushing the phyllo sheets, so I only used the compound butter on every 3rd or 4th sheet and lightly misted with olive the sheets in between. A little more time/effort than I would probably want to spend on a weeknight, so I will keep this as a weekend dish.