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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mushroom Tart

One of the first places I look for food inspiration is Martha Stewart's website.  She is so good at everything you sort of want to hate her, right? And she has built an empire. But then you try a couple of her recipes and see how easy and delicious they are. A few martha stewart recipes I have posted on this blog so far include Bacon Jam (which was such a hit this New Years!),  Roasted Roots and Tubers Pizza, and Spiced mixed nuts.  I spent some time browsing her website now that I am back in action blogging recipes, and I decided to do a week of Martha. It just had to be done. And to kick it off right, I made this beautiful and simple Mushroom Tart.




The process is simple, the result rewarding. A sheet of puff pastry, baby spinach, goat cheese, a clove of garlic, and a variety of types of mushrooms (I used cremini and shataki.) If you can saute vegetables in pan, you can probably make this delicious appetizer.


Mushroom Tart
Recipe inspired by MarthaStewart.com, however my steps and choice of ingredients differ a bit
Ingredients:
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 TBS olive oil
1 lb of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
a handful of baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, minced
soft goat cheese
1 TBS melted butter

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat
2. Add minced garlic, allow it to cook a couple of minutes until just golden
3. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and cook until they are tender
4. Fold in the spinach
5. Lay out your puff pastry (the instructions on the box may suggest to allow it to sit for 10 minutes to defrost) on a buttered baking sheet
6. Top with your mushroom mixture, salt, pepper and sprinkle with goat cheese
7. Using a pastry brush, apply the melted butter to any exposed edges of puff pastry
8. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden and crisp

Notes:

This tart would be delicious with any variety of wild mushrooms. I droll imagining it with Hen-of-the-woods. My choice of and shataki is easy to find at grocery stores and relatively inexpensive. I used primarily the cremini (also called baby bella), and suplimented with a couple of shataki mushrooms sliced thin (tough stems removed)


The secret for perfectly browned puff pastry (which is luckily the sort of item even serious chefs buy premade from the grocery store...hence the ease of this recipe) is to brush any exposed parts with either melted butter or egg wash to aid in browning. You can choose to do this step at the end, removing the tart from the oven a few minutes before the end of the cook time, buttering it and returning it, if you are worried about the edges burning, or include it as a step before placing the item in the oven.

If you are making this ahead of time a few additional minutes to heat up in the oven (preferably on a pizza stone) will bring back any crispness it may have lost from sitting out. I made this early in the day (to accommodate bright sunlit pictures) but served it at night. A quick heat-up was all it needed.

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