It’s time for the monthly food fight hosted by Mel of Gourmet Fury and Leela of She Simmers. The theme ingredient this month? [drum rolls] ..Mushrooms!! My submission is this simple but sophisticated appetizer that everyone can make at home in a snap. Well, if you use store bought puff pastry that is. If in a moment of folly decide to follow Pierre Herme’s puff pastry recipe be warned that you might get lost in the butter jungle and never, ever be seen again.
This mushroom and gruyère tart will appeal to all of you mushroom amateurs out there. Puff pastry rounds, squares, rectangles or whatever shape makes you happy are topped with a mixture of fresh ricotta, thyme, gruyère, and wild mushrooms. You can pretty much use any variety of mushrooms you like, just sauteed them until tender, chewy but still a little crisp. What makes this mushroom tart different from the others is the layer of ricotta and gruyère at the bottom that turns into oozy-cheesy goodness when baked. Everybody knows that bubbly cheese is mushroom’s best friend. The little herb salad and the balsamic reduction respectively refresh and accentuate those earthy flavors which round things up quite nicely. So here you go, Mel & Leela. My submission to this month’s Beet & Squash You!
I will keep this post short and sweet today, people. I’m under pressure. On the program this week is a fancy dinner party for 20, a cocktail party for 50, plus the usual rodeo of business lunches and small dinners. I’m also supposed to be planning for next week’s trip to Aspen, order and ship extra equipment, hard to find supplies, menus… etc.
If you haven’t already done so don’t forget to enter the Flat Turtle cookie giveaway. You have until sunday at midnight. And stay tuned for more delicious recipes.
Wild Mushrooms Tart with Gruyère, Herb Salad & Balsamic Reduction
- serves 8
Wild mushroom tart with gruyère:
- 1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 pounds wild mushrooms, cleaned
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1/2 pound Gruyère, sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Mixed herbs (parsley, tarragon, chervil & chives), cleaned
- Balsamic glaze or aged-balsamic
For the wild mushroom tart:
- Preheat the oven to 400’F.
- Roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out shapes or make a large rectangular tart. Place on a baking tray. Prick the dough with a fork. Mix an egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush the edges using a pastry brush. Return to the freezer until ready to use.
- Tear the mushrooms into pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the mushrooms (you can do this in batches). Add the garlic, scallions and half the thyme and sautee until the mushrooms are tender and a little crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
- Mix the ricotta and the creme fraiche with the egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the ricotta mixture on the puff pastry leaving a half an inch border. Arrange slices of gruyère on top and then the mushrooms.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Or until bubbly in the center with a golden crust around the edges.
- Mix the herbs in a small bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon and a touch of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the tart into pieces (if you’re making a large one). Drizzle the balsamic reduction on the plate, place the wild mushroom tarts with gruyere on top and finish with the little herb salad.