Over a decade ago, my mom and I started making this tart during the Christmas holidays, and it’s become a staple for our winter feasts. You might think working with phyllo is intimidating, but it’s actually fun and easy to use. The trick is to work with a partner so you can move quickly before the phyllo dries up and tears. With glasses of wine in hand while preparing, my mom and I have had many a giggle while whipping up this savoury tart.
Chop off the leek root and remove the fir t layer of outside leaves. Slice the leeks in half and run under cold water to remove any dirt stuck in the leaves. Dry and chop into pieces.
Trim the ends off the zucchini, slice into quarters, then chop into small pieces. Slice the half onion in half, trim the base off, then roughly chop into pieces.
Warm the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan, then add the leeks and sauté for a few minutes, until they soften slightly. Add the zucchini and onion and continue to sauté for about 10 minutes more, until the leeks are soft and the zucchini and onion have gone a bit clear. Remove the pan from the heat and pour its contents into a large bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, ricotta, feta, and Parmesan in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour the egg mixture over the leek mixture, add the herbs, stir to combine all the ingredients, and season well with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the butter in a small bowl with the olive oil.
Now you are ready to assemble the tart. I’ve always made this in a basic 9-by-13-inch baking sheet, as I like the way it makes maximum use of the phyllo sheets, is easy to assemble, and feeds a crowd. Start by laying the first sheet of phyllo lengthwise down the pan, and brush a bit of the butter and oil onto the phyllo with a pastry brush. Then lay down four or five more sheets in the same way, keeping the edges fairly even and brushing with the butter and oil in between. The extra phyllo should just hang over the edges of the pan.
Pour the leek mixture onto the phyllo and gently spread it out evenly with a spatula.
To form the top crust, layer five or six phyllo sheets over the leek mixture, applying a bit of the butter and oil between each sheet.
To finish it off, fold up the extra phyllo that hangs over the edges of the pan and brush it with a bit of the oil and butter. Put the tart in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust looks crispy and golden brown.
Cut into pieces using a chef’s knife or pizza cutter and serve alongside meat or salad. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and can be reheated in the oven.