I recently hosted bookclub at my house and I have to admit I’m always excited about putting together the menu. My bookclub is the most fantastic group of gals that have been noshing, sipping and gabbing since 2009-that’s almost EIGHT years now! We do always discuss the book at some point during the night (if only to validate our name as a book club for our significant others) but first we dig into the spread provided by the hostess with the mostess. This time around while hosting, I wanted to create some food that could be appreciated by my vegan friend (hi Kata!) and that’s the beginning of these Vegan Mushroom Pesto Tartlets….
I’ve been looking for this dish for a long time, and didn’t even know it. I’ve substituted many things, but this, this Mushroom Bourguignon is the real deal. So, just like so many awesome things in my life, this dish came in to my life by accident. Completely by accident. Well, really it was due to a minor mistake by my husband-but really, the best mistake possible. For real. …
Many years ago, I was overwhelmed with a stressful full time job, raising two kids and trying to appear that I had it all together (To be completely honest this may have not been so many years ago, or even so many months ago, in fact this may still describe my life today…but I digress). I was starting to find my way in the kitchen and was starting to read different food blogs. One in particular, Smitten Kitchen, spoke to me. I love Deb Perelman and her witty prose and her tiny kitchen in New York City. Her writing makes you feel like you are drinking coffee at her table while she is cooking for you. And at that time in my life, I was particularly in need of this. (Thanks Deb!)
So when a Facebook group I am a part of suggested we do a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Challenge, I was all in. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct? The challenge was designed to go chapter by chapter. One person (and sometimes more than one) would make a recipe and review it, and we would continue on until every recipe in the chapter was completed. This sounded right up my alley. Mushroom Tart? Game on.
Due to my vacation, I entered in round 3 (Sandwiches, tarts and pizza) with the Mushroom Tart. I chose this partially because I really love tarts, partially because I really love mushrooms, and mostly because I knew no one else in my mushroom adverse house would even try this-so I’d have it all to myself (yay! leftovers!). And what a great choice it was! Shallots and mushrooms combined with marscapone, fontina and parmesan to form a hearty filling. Cornmeal in the crust gives the crust dimension. I happen to love herbs, so I added rosemary, because I personally think everything should contain rosemary.
I served this Mushroom Tart with a simple arugula salad, lightly dressed with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction from Queen Creek Olive Mill (if you haven’t checked out this family owned olive farm in Arizona, you need to!). Not only was it a great dinner, it was a great lunch (for the WHOLE next week).
Don’t be put off by all of the steps, many can be done somewhat simultaneously. A few tips: slice the mushrooms small enough to be bite size, if you like herbs, feel free to use slightly more thyme AND rosemary, and if you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen-do so now!
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced + a smidge extra for greasing the foil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound (225g) cremini mushrooms sliced into bite site pieces
- 1 pound (455g) assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, more cremini) sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese (Can substitute provolone)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- TO MAKE THE CRUST (TART SHELL):
- Place flour, cornmeal, and salt into the bowl of your food processor and then pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is in small bits.
- Add the egg and pulse until dough clumps.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and invert the crust over a 9-inch tart pan.
- Use your fingers to push the crust against the corners and sides of the pan.
- Put the tart pan on top of a baking sheet, and place the pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Remove the tart shell from the freezer. (keep on the baking pan)
- Grease one side of a 12 inch piece of aluminum foil with butter.
- Press the foil, butter side down, against the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil (carefully!) and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden.
- Remove tart shell from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 350ºF.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and rosemary.
- Although it seems that all of these mushrooms won't fit, don't worry, if you keep stirring, the very large volume of mushrooms will be quickly reduced!
- Saute the mushrooms over high heat until tender and the released liquid has evaporated, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the fontina and parmesan.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- TO MAKE THE TART:
- Place tart shell back onto baking pan.
- Add the filling to the tart shell.
- If you haven't already turned the oven down to 350ºF, do so now.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden and the custard is set.
- Cool the tart on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
Ravioli with Rosemary Mushroom Sauce, makes me hungry just thinking about it! You may have heard about our epic dinner party this week, and if you haven’t, trust me you will, as we plan to explore the art of the dinner party in a blog post coming up soon. This was an old fashioned dinner party, complete with eight plated courses. Six guests (plus Holly and I), sitting at a large table, enjoying a delicious food experience. The dinner party is an art that it is high time we resurrect! (The complete dinner party menu is up on Twitter-so if you are unable to wait, you can check it out @withtwospoons)
As Holly and I were going over plans for this dinner party, we decided we wanted to serve a pasta dish before our main course. What to do, what to do? Preferrably, something not too difficult. We really wanted the course to look elegant. The pasta had to taste exceptional. That is when a ravioli presented with a simple sauce rose to the top of the list. Unfortunately the first recipe I tried did not work as written and we didn’t have much time to figure something else out. We had to take a leap of faith and stick to what we knew-wine and butter. Turns out, sometimes, out of the simplest ingredients, comes the most divine flavor! And thus Ravioli with Rosemary Mushroom Sauce was born!
Not only was this simple to make, we also found you could stick the sauce in a small crock pot, set it on low (or even warm), and serve it when the time was right-perfect for a multi-course dinner. Topped with some parmesan cheese and a garnish of rosemary, this ravioli received high praise at our dinner party. I promise you this one is truly simple and quick to make. Hmmm…might even make a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day!
- 2 pounds cheese ravioli
- 8 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 8-ounce containers of fresh cremini mushrooms, chopped into small bite site pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus extra for seasoning if needed)
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of white wine
- 3 Sprigs of rosemary
- grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
- 8 tips of rosemary sprigs (approximately 1 inch pieces) for garnish
- Start water boiling water for pasta in a deep pot. Add salt to pasta water (optional).
- Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in hot pan.
- Saute mushrooms and salt in the melted butter and olive oil for approximately 3 minutes
- Add rosemary sprigs, shallots and garlic to mushrooms and sauté until shallots are soft, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add wine and reduce until wine is reduced to ¼ cup.
- While wine is reducing, add pasta to boiling water and simmer according to directions on ravioli package.
- Drain ravioli and keep warm.
- After wine is almost fully reduced (to a ¼ cup or less), remove mushroom mixture from heat.
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Remove rosemary sprigs from mixture.
- Add remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter and allow to melt.
- Place desired amount of ravioli on a plate (or in a bowl), add a spoonful of rosemary mushroom sauce, garnish with a sprinkle of grated parmesan, a few shreds of shaved parmesan, and the tip of a rosemary sprig.
- Serve and enjoy!