The Middle East is home to all the world's major religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Easter, in particular is widely celebrated in cities like Jerusalem. It's home to many Christians but also a destination for tourists to see attractions like ancient churches and to walk the stations of the cross.
I still vividly recall my first visit when I was about 19, on summer break from college, and driving there with friends from Tel Aviv. It was a very hot August, the road was dusty, I was seriously homesick and had not yet grown into the enthusiastic traveler I would become. But my pouty teenage mood lifted instantly when we drove into the most beautiful place I'd ever seen.
The souks were so packed with everything I could imagine including all the dried fruits and spices I grew up with. And all the traditions and foods seemed to blend together. So my take on a normally bacon and cheddar filled Easter brunch egg tart is, instead, loaded with salty feta, fresh tomatoes and za'atar.
- For the Crust:
- 1 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled and cut into 1/2" pieces)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- For the Filling:
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup milk
- 3/4 Cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- 2 Tomatoes (seeded and diced)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 Teaspoon za'atar
- To make the crust, add the flour, butter, salt and baking powder to a food processor and pulse a few times just until the mixture resembles course crumbs. With the machine running, add the olive oil and ice water and continue blending until a dough ball forms.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the eggs and milk to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped parsley and za'atar. Note that because both the feta and the za'atar are salty, I did not find that the mixture needed any additional salt.
- Roll the dough out, on a well floured surface, to about a 10" circle. Drape it over a 9" tart pan (preferably one with a removable bottom) and trim off the edges. (If you roll your rolling pin across the tart pan edges, you'll get a nice edge.)
- Place the pan on a baking sheet, in case of drips, and pour the egg mixture into the dough. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the filling is set and the pastry edges are a light golden brown.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|