Savory Mushroom Tart

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Chef Tom Hudgensen
Moosse Cafe

Dining in MendocinoWe are lucky to have a company that grows delectable fresh shiitake mushrooms in our area--the Little River Mushroom Company. They deliver a big basket to us each week. We usually grill them with other vegetables to be served over creamy polenta with a shallot cream sauce and a scattering of fresh herbs for a meatless entrée. The following Savory Mushroom Tart makes a great appetizer or light entrée--and tastes wonderful with Syrah.

  • ½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed fine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 12-inch round uncooked pizza dough
                        Or
  • 1 12-inch round uncooked puff pastry, pricked in several places with a fork

1. If the mushrooms are dirty, brush them clean with a dry brush--don't wash them in water or their texture will be soggy. Gently pull the stems off the mushrooms, and slice them ¼ inch thick. Saute the mushrooms in 3 tablespoons butter on medium-high heat. When they are soft and beginning to brown, add the garlic and thyme and cook a moment more. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat the cream and the onions together on medium-high heat and cook until the onions are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. The cream should reduce to a thick sauce coating the onions.

3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the onion-cream mixture over the dough, then scatter the mushrooms evenly over the top. Bake until the dough is cooked through and the top is brown and bubbly. Let the tart set 10 minutes after removing from the oven. Cut into wedges and serve warm with a glass of Syrah and a small green salad.

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