This is what I served for our Easter dinner, but it would be great for any special occasion or holiday. The phyllo cups make a very elegant presentation, but really are not difficult to make. Phyllo can be a little tricky the first time you use it. Just remember to keep the phyllo covered with a damp towel and you should have no problems. The filling is mostly raw so there is not a lot of cooking time and a lot of it can be made ahead. The cashews and the sun dried tomatoes need to be soaked for a few hours at least, or overnight, before you start to prepare them though. After all the treats we had around Easter, it was nice to enjoy a nice light dinner. I had a lot of the fillings left over, so I blended the ricotta and the tomato sauce together and served it over whole wheat pasta the next day.
Phyllo Cups with Cashew Ricotta and Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
Make 12 cups
2 cups raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours or overnight
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
After soaking the cashews, put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend together until it is mostly smooth. You want it have a little texture left. Put in a bowl and set aside until your cups are ready.
Sun Dried tomato Sauce
1 cup sun dried tomatoes soaked for a few hours or overnight
2 TBSP olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 -3/4 cups of water
After soaking the tomatoes, put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend together until it is mostly smooth. Add the water a little at a time until you get a thick sauce. Put in a bowl and set aside until your cups are ready.
1 package of phyllo dough thawed (the kind I used was divided in 2 packs in the box, I just used 1)
1/3 cup melted Earth Balance
prepared cashew ricotta
prepared sun dried tomato sauce
1 small zucchini very thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray or lightly butter it. Open the package of phyllo on a cutting board and place a damp towel over it until you are ready to start. Cut the phyllo into 4 X 4 squares and cover with the towel again. Take 4 sheets of the phyllo out (keep the rest covered) and lightly brush the first with Earth balance, make sure to get all the way to the edges. Lay another sheet on top at a slight angle and brush with butter. Repeat with the next 2 sheets. Make sure you place them at different angles. Lightly press the phyllo into a cup in the muffin pan. Repeat this until all 12 cups are filled with phyllo. Bake the phyllo cups about 8 minutes. Check them frequently because they can burn quickly. The cups should be a nice golden brown when they are done.
Let the phyllo cups cool for a few minutes and then remove them from the pan. Put a heaping tablespoon of the cashew ricotta in the bottom of each phyllo cup. Top the ricotta with a few zucchini slices then put in a few teaspoons of the sauce.