Monday, January 30, 2012

Better than the sum of its parts.

When you take one thing, and wrap it in another thing, the resulting thing is so much greater than the first two things could have ever been on their own. (how many times can i use the word "thing" in one sentence?)  Wrap just about anything in phyllo dough, and you end up with something super fun and festive.  And yeah, messy.  Sorry, C, for all of the bits of phyllo dough that are probably all over your house. 

I used to hate dealing with phyllo dough.  It is really fragile, and dries out if you look at it wrong.  But, after some practice, it's not so hard.  You just have to remember to keep it covered, be gentle, and work as fast as you can. 

I found this recipe on my googly reader, and I knew it was perfect for C, who has a deep seated love for olives.  This is actually a recipe for two different fillings.  I'm not sure which was my favorite, but it was probably the green olive one.  It's a little more pungent, a little more fun.  I think the black olive one would have been a little better if I had used Kalamata olives, but the recipe called for the regular old black ones that come in the can. 

As a side note, the filling for the green olive triangles would likely make a delicious tapenade.  It was tasty on it's own, so spread it on some bread, and you're good!

Crispy Olive Bites
Source: Keep it Simple Foods

You will need 1 box of phyllo dough (it's enough for both fillings), and olive oil for brushing.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Filling #1: Green Olive Filling

1 cup green olives, drained and chopped
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can artichoke hearts in water, drained and rough chopped
1 clove garlic

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a sort of paste.

Filling #2: Black Olive Filling

1 cup black olives, drained and chopped fine
4 green onions, chopped fine
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
a good bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, minced

Combine all ingredients  in a bowl.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to combine all ingredients.

fp note: you could probably make this in the food processor and avoid some of the chopping.  but if you do, i would mix in the feta after processing, so it doesn't get too chopped up.

Layer 2 sheets of phyllo at a time, and brush lightly with olive oil, and cut into 2 inch strips.  Put a good spoonful of the filling at one end and fold the phyllo into a triangle shape, like folding a flag.  Repeat until all of the filling is used up. (fp note: or, you could go until you run out of phyllo. even though i'm getting better at working with it, i always end up tearing a bunch of sheets and having to throw them out.)

Place triangles onto a cookie sheet.  Brush tops with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes until brown and crispy.

Let them cool a little before serving, or the filling will burn your mouth like the heat of 1000 suns.

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