Ricotta Asparagus Fillo Triangles

These appetizers are made of flaky pastry wrapped around a cheesy ricotta filling (nom nom nom). Fillo dough is kind of difficult to work with but it gets easier and they’re worth the effort.

Ricotta Asparagus Fillo Triangles

Makes 24 triangles

  • 20 sheets fillo dough (one 8-oz roll)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 12 spears asparagus
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Olive oil for brushing on dough sheets

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut asparagus spears in half and boil for 10-15 minutes. When done, puree in a food processor. Combine in a bowl with ricotta and basil.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on clean work surface (cover remaining phyllo sheets with damp kitchen towel to prevent drying). Brush phyllo sheet with oil. Stack 2 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 4 strips.

Spoon heaping tbsp ricotta mixture 1/2 inch from the end of 1 phyllo strip.  Fold upper corner over filling to make a triangle. Continue folding triangle onto itself, across, and down to make triangle packet. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo strips, then repeat entire process with remaining phyllo sheets and ricotta mixture.

Brush triangles with oil. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Collard Green and Tofu Fillo Triangles

For chronic appetizer-over-stuffers like me, these fillo triangles were perfect because you can add lots of filling and it won’t spill out because of how they’re wrapped. The bad news: fillo dough is notoriously finicky and kind of a pain to work with. All in all, I was pleased with how these turned out and will try them again with different fillings.

Collard Green and Tofu Fillo Triangles (taken from Vegetarian Times)

Makes 24 triangles

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 4 oz firm tofu, mashed
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a good deal more for brushing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 20 sheets fillo dough, thawed (this leaves you with a couple of extra sheets in case one tears and is unworkable)
  • 1 small pear, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse collard greens and shallot in food processor until finely chopped.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add collard mixture and garlic, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes until most of liquid has evaporated. Stir in vinegar and mashed tofu. Season with salt and pepper (if desired), and set aside to cool.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on clean work surface (cover remaining phyllo sheets with damp kitchen towel to prevent drying). Brush phyllo sheet with oil. Stack 2 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 4 strips.

Spoon 1 tbsp collard mixture 1/2 inch from the end of 1 phyllo strip. Top with 1 pear slice. Fold upper corner over filling to make a triangle. Continue folding triangle onto itself, across, and down to make triangle packet. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo strips, then repeat entire process with remaining phyllo sheets, collard mixture, and pear slices.

Brush triangles with oil, and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt, if desired. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Artichoke-Spinach Cheesy Turnovers

These flaky pastry puffs are filled with a blend of artichoke hearts, spinach and cheeses. They’re a great appetizer, and any leftover filling makes for a tasty dip. I ended up only using about half of the filling that this recipe makes for the turnovers, so I set some aside for snacking with crackers and am planning on making a second batch tomorrow. Feel free to halve the recipe if you want to conserve ingredients though.

Artichoke-Spinach Cheesy Turnovers (inspired by Vegetarian Times)

Makes 30 turnovers (with leftover filling)

  • 1 17.3-oz package frozen puff pastry, thawed (contains two sheets)
  • 1 8-oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup boiled fresh spinach (measured after being reduced by boiling)
  • 3 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
For egg wash:
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse artichokes, spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan, shallot and lemon juice in food processor until blended but slightly chunky.

Roll 1 sheet of puff pastry out into a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut into 15 3-inch rounds (combine scraps and roll them out to get the most out of the dough). Repeat with remaining pastry sheet.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling on each pastry round. Fold in half, sealing edges with a little bit of water to help them stick together, then press edges with fork to seal.

Transfer to baking sheet. Brush turnovers with beaten egg, and bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Brie, Apple, and Walnut Pastry Cups

This is a quick and easy appetizer combines three of my favorite foods; tart apple, melted brie and walnut all in one flaky pastry cup. Nom, nom nom! I also added some shredded sharp cheddar cheese that was leftover from another recipe. There’s plenty of room for customization in this recipe based on cheese, fruit and nut preference.

Brie, Apple and Walnut Cups (taken from Sue Doeden’s All About Food and altered slightly)

Note: the original recipe calls for sweet/spicy nuts, but I just used plain walnuts because I didn’t end up having enough time to candy the walnuts beforehand. They still tasted great plain, but I think they’d be even better with some kind of coating like this.

Makes 15 cups

  • 4 ounces brie cheese
  • 1 box frozen mini fillo shells
  • 1/2 apple, chopped into small chunks (I used granny smith)
  • 15 walnut halves
  • Nutmeg, to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thaw fillo shells at room temperature for 10 minutes and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Place a few apple chunks in each fillo shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Top with a piece of brie and top with a walnut half.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese melts and begins to bubble. Remove from oven and serve warm.