Monday, August 27, 2012

Mediterranean Tart

Not based on any actual Mediterranean dish, this American creation brings the sun-infused staples of the Mediterranean region together in a delightful, unique summer BBQ dish. The ham would be shunned in any Muslim Mediterranean country but Greeks, Italians and Spaniards partake with gusto, or sabor or whatever it is.  In Israel, farmers are only allowed to raise pigs on imported dirt (so as not to defile holy ground - isn't it nice that Palestinians and Jews are united on one front - their dietary restrictions on pork.)  Living in these pork-free zones, I devised the "pork products bag" for which I bought pork tenderloin, bacon and sausage while on visits to the states, froze them before my flight and packed them together in close quarters in a small carry-on bag.  After a 15 hour flight, the bag was still cold enough to arouse comment but yet escaped confiscation at customs inspections.  The chicken reigns as fowl supreme throughout the world and onions and tomatoes love that Mediterranean sun.  Olives thrive there and phyllo - a pastry delight - is an inspired creation of indigenous cooks.  Even Parmesan cheese by virtue of Italy's "giving the boot" to the heart of the Med, lends the dish authenticity and a nutty "mm-m-m-" accent!

Mediterranean Tart
3 tab. butter
1 medium onion, sliced
3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp. thyme
3 tab. flour
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cups melted butter
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup cooked cubed chicken breast
1/4 cup cubed ham
1 cup chopped black olives
16 sheets of phyllo pastry
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

-Saute onions in butter until soft.  Add mushrooms and continue cooking until soft. Blend in flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and tomatoes.  Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients.  Return to heat and simmer 5 minutes longer.  Set aside until needed.

-Brush bottom and sides of 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish with butter.  Place a sheet of dough in bottom of pan and brush with butter.  Repeat 7 times more.  Spread meat/vegetable mixture on dough and evenly sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.  Repeat process of laying sheet of phyllo and brushing with butter 8 more times.  Score tart into serving pieces, approximately 3 x 3 inch squares, with sharp, serrated knife. Sprinkle with water amd bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.

-Let sit for 10 minutes.  Cut through pieces again and serve.


  1. This looks delicious!Thanks for stopping by @freshfromevaskitchen - I have to try your recipe and also the Erdbeerkuchen reminds me of home