The New York Times generally publishes spectacular recipes; middle of the road in skill level and sophistication, but with enough instruction for the novice to feel confident in his/her ability to try a new technique.
This Cheese Torte combines 3 types of cheese with spinach, artichoke and seasoning in crispy layers of buttery Phyllo dough. The ultimate appetizer, side dish or brunch dish!
This cheese torte is an adaptation of a recent recipe using the technique of layering thin layers of phyllo dough and butter to form an irresistible crust. I mean really, look at that crust!
My friend Dara Bunjon of Dara Does It initially introduced me to this Cheese Torte and I was fascinated by the use of phyllo and a bundt pan. I happened to have a few frozen boxes of phyllo at home, as I always keep this and puff pastry in the freezer, so I gave it a whirl.
I attempted my own version, adding a few extra ingredients, and landed with artichokes and spinach. I’m mean what goes better with cheese than artichoke and spinach?
The real star of this show isn’t what goes inside of the torte, it is the torte shell. Constructed from delicate layers of phyllo, placed sheet by sheet in a circular fashion, gently folded over and then bathed in butter, the casing is enough to keep you coming back for more.
A sprinkling of Parmesan Romano Cheese straight into the bundt pan also adds a layer of crispy, golden goodness. So crispy!
I’m still not sure where to place my Cheese Torte in terms of course or appropriate time of day. On the day I created my Cheese Torte, its intention was to be an appetizer, but it became abundantly clear with the first slice that it clearly could serve as a full entree for meatless Monday or a masterful centerpiece for brunch. I will deem it appropriate for any meal.
Looking for more brunch ideas? Check out these out:
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 12 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Romano cheese finely grated, divided
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts drained and patted dry, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound phyllo dough thawed in the refrigerator
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter melted
- Cooking Spray
Coat medium skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add spinach and minced shallots, tossing until wilted and reduced. Allow to cool before draining on heavy duty paper towels and then wringing out excess liquid. If you have time, place in the refrigerator to dry further for an hour or two.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a food processor, combine crumbled feta, cottage cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan Romano cheese, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Pulse to combine. Add artichokes, spinach and shallots, pulse again. Set aside.
Coat large, fluted tube bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan Romano Cheese in the bundt pan, allowing it to stick to the sides. Sheet by sheet, place phyllo around the bundt pan, trying to get each sheet up the flute and then allowing the sheet to drape over the side. Use all except 4 sheets, pressing into the bottom. (See photo above).
Spoon cheese mixture into bundt pan and fold draped phyllo over top. Arrange remaining 4 sheets to seal the top.
Pierce the torte, top to bottom, generously with a sharp knife. Slowly, poor melted butter over the top, allowing some to seep in and the rest to puddle on the top. Place onto a large baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until torte is golden brown and crispy.
Allow to cool for 2 hours before inverting to a serving plate. Serve room temperature or warmed in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you've tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it was!