Summer is perfect for easy breezy appetizers. You know I love Athens. Their products are so easy to work with and make hosting (or weekend snacking!) fool-proof.
Athens Phyllo Dough Sheets are the perfect base for this Greek Lamb Phyllo Tart. Complete with oregano-spiced ground lamb, creamy feta cheese and bright fresh veggies and herbs, this shareable summer dish transports you to the Mediterranean.
Assembling a Phyllo Tart Crust
All things considered, this is a laid-back summer recipe made for outdoor eating. The most important step is assembling the phyllo tart crust. Phyllo is a traditional Greek pastry that’s rolled into paper-thin sheets. They cook up into delightfully crisp layers.
First, build a sturdy base for your tart with overlapping sheets of phyllo dough. You’ll want to work quickly here, as phyllo can dry out quickly. To make sure your sheets stay moist and pliable, cover the dough you’re not using with a barley-damp dish towel. Pick one without too much fuzz to keep your lamb tart terrycloth-free!
Athens Phyllo Dough comes ready to use in handy sheets. All you need to do is take stacks of 3-4 delicate phyllo dough sheets and place them in a lightly greased baking dish or oven-safe skillet. Then, take the next stack of 3-4 sheets and place them perpendicularly on top of the first layer. Continue this way, criss crossing each stack of phyllo, until you have a thick base for your tart. At a minimum, I recommend no fewer than 10-12 phyllo sheets.
Criss-crossing is important here because it will prevent the crust from cracking when you pile it high with feta garlic yogurt and tender spiced lamb. When you have a nice phyllo dough foundation in your baking dish, pop it into the oven.
The phyllo layers quickly transform into crisp, golden-brown sheets that fan out beautifully over the edge of your baking dish. Thanks to these crispy petals, this Greek lamb tart is a show-stopper all on its own, no fussy garnishes necessary.
- 1 package Athens Phyllo Dough Sheets
- ½ cup olive oil + more for brushing, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ pound ground lamb
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon traditional Greek seasoning (or similar spice)
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1½ cups feta cheese, separated
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Pinch garlic paste
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 small bunch parsley, washed and lightly torn
- English cucumber, sliced
- 1, 8 ounce container tzatziki
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees on convection setting. Lightly grease a medium to large cast iron skillet or baking dish. Working quickly to prevent drying, layer phyllo dough inside the prepared baking dish. Use 3-4 sheets at a time, overlapping each set. You’ll want to build a thick bottom crust. Overlapping prevents cracks in the middle. Continue until you have a thick layer, about 10-12 sheets minimum and about 4 crisscrossed layers. Coat the phyllo dough with olive oil, all the way out to the edges. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
- While the phyllo bakes, heat a cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, stir and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add ground lamb, stirring until lightly browned. Stir in the spices and remove from heat.
- In a food processor, add ½ cup feta, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic paste and yogurt. Pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Leaving it a little chunky is nice for texture.
- Assemble the lamb tart: Spread the feta mixture on the baked phyllo crust. Top with lamb. Finish with fresh tomatoes, parsley and cucumber. Cut into squares and serve with a bowl of tzatziki nestled in the pan. Enjoy!
Building The Greek Lamb Tart
When your crust is pre-baked and you’ve whipped up the juicy spiced lamb filling and puréed feta yogurt, it’s time to assemble the tart. Start by covering the crust with a thick layer of savory feta yogurt. Don’t worry if the texture isn’t perfectly smooth, no one will complain about biting into a big hunk of salty Greek feta!
Next, layer on the ground lamb filling. Finally, bring extra color, freshness and flavor to the tart with a generous sprinkling of fresh diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. All that’s missing is a shareable bowl of tzatziki to complete the meal. The result? A delicious, refreshing summer appetizer!