Friday, March 9, 2007

Fungus Among Us

I have just a couple of things to say about mushrooms. If you want true scholarship on the subject, go take a course in Mycology.


The first thing I’ll say is that I like them. All sorts, from the lowly button to the exotic enoki. And you should, too, since their nutritional profile includes significant amounts of potassium and copper. The second thing: According to folklore (and the Mushroom Council), the mushroom has many qualities that could prove rather important (superhuman strength, immortality, aphrodisiacs, and . . .help in finding lost objects). I don’t know about you, dear Reader, but that seems a most potent combination.

Here then is a recipe to take full advantage of our friendly fungi, a wild mushroom tart. Use any combination of mushrooms (as long as they’re of the legal variety), add a splash of onions, a sizzle of sherry, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. You’ll wind up with a wonderful vegetarian main course or a saucy appetizer, and maybe, a new lover and the key ring you misplaced last week.


Wild Mushroom Tart
Loosely adapted from Whole Foods Market

Pastry for a single crust pie (I used a whole wheat pastry flour in my usual pie crust recipe to great success)

1 c. Parmesan cheese
3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 c. onions, thinly sliced
¾ lb. wild mushrooms (any variety or a combination), roughly chopped
½ t. sea salt
¼ c. dry sherry
½ c. vegetable or chicken stock
1/3 c. sour cream
2 T. half and half

Preheat oven to 450. Line a 9” tart pan with pastry, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan. Prick several times with a fork and line with parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights, place on baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and sprinkle ½ c. Parmesan cheese over bottom of crust.

Reduce oven to 350. Combine butter and olive oil in large skillet. Add onions and sauté until pale golden. Stir in mushrooms and add salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are soft, about 6-8 minutes.


Add sherry and stock and simmer until liquid has been absorbed. Stir in sour cream and half and half and simmer gently, about 5 minutes. Spoon into tart pan. Sprinkle remaining ½ c. Parmesan over mushroom mixture. Bake tart about 45 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.


At 10:39 AM, Blogger SantaBarbarian said...

ohhh....nummy! ;-)

You should stop by The Porcini Chronicles

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds positively yummy. Of course, I would be inclined to add a generous handful of curry powder.

BTW, I spent this weekend making a 5-gallon vat of veggie curry. I will be taking it for lunch each day for the next few months.

I'll be headed out to the yard in a few weeks to see if any boleets show up. Them's good eatin'.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger The Queen of Tarts said...

cookie jill, Hooray -- another specialist! Cookies, pie, and now. . .porcini!

anonymous, I trust you know your boleets from your toadstools? Happy plucking!


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