Since I'm the only one in my family who doesn't eat meat (including my husband and in-laws), my holiday meals were often limited to side dishes until I discovered a recipe for Chestnut, Spinach, Mushroom Phyllo Tart with Tomato Ginger Coulis in one of my favorite cookbooks.
It's delicious, easy, and a good thing to make after the holidays and when chestnuts are on super sale at the grocery store.
I made it for the brunch we had last weekend because Amy and Mark are vegan (check out Mark's blog for good recipes). Phyllo dough itself is vegan, and if you use olive oil instead of butter between the layers so is this tart!
For the tart:
4 cups spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (about a pound)
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
1 pound chestnuts (you can roast your own, but it's a pain, peeling them hurts my fingers and the ones in a jar work just as well.)
3 tablespoons marmalade (homemade apricot jam works too)
salt and pepper
6 sheets phyllo dough
melted butter or olive oil for brushing the dough
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9" spring form pan.
Put the spinach in sauce pan over medium heat, cover and cook until it's wilted, stirring occasionally. Let it cool in a colander, squeeze out the extra juice and chop. (squeezing out the extra juice keeps your tart from being soggy.)
Saute the onions, mushrooms, coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper in the olive oil in a large frying pan until the onions are soft and most of the juices have evaporated. Add the garlic and the chestnuts and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the spinach and the marmalade and heat through. Adjust the seasonings and set aside.
One layer at a time and brushing with the butter in between each layer, put the phyllo dough in the spring form pan.
Scoop in the chestnut mixture, and fold the sides over. (It doesn't matter if your dough looks sloppy- once it bakes it'll look lovely.) If there's a hole in the middle of your tart, just take an extra sheet of phyllo dough, brush it with butter or oil, fold it into fourths and stick it over the hole. No one will know.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the outer part of the spring form pain (carefully!).
Bake it for another 20 minutes until it's crispy and brown all over.
For the Coulis:
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons freshly ground ginger
2 lbs canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2/3 cup sherry
pinch of cayenne pepper
Saute the garlic and ginger in the oil over med heat for a minute or two and then add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar ad sherry. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick and add the cayenne and salt to taste.
For a real coulis you're supposed to blend it until smooth and strain it, but I can't be bothered.
No one has ever complained.
When the tart is done, let it set for a few minutes before cutting it with a serrated knife and serving it with the coulis.