The inspiration for this dish came from the amazing variety of wild mushrooms we saw growing in the forest where we walk the dog.
Some of them look like leather………
There’s curly ones….
And purple ones…!
I still have absolutely no idea which ones you can eat and which ones are poisonous but I’d say the purple ones are off limits. They seem to like it on damp, dark, mulchy bark and rotting leaves. So does Rufus…
I was too scared to pick any but it got me craving earthy garlic mushrooms and melting cheese. Nigel Slater is always good for earthy, delicious comfort food and he didn’t let me down. This recipe is a mixture of a couple of his recipes. He makes a big rectangular tart from a sheet of puff pastry. I made individual ones because I had some offcuts of pastry left I had to use up, and I don’t like sharing!
Mushroom, Shallot & Goat’s Cheese Tarts
serves 2, vegetarian, adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe
- 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
- about 300 gr mushrooms, try to get a mixture of different types
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 or 5 shallots, quartered & peeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- a good squeeze of lemon juice
- about 2o – 30 gr butter
- 100 gr goat’s cheese, sliced into 1/2 cm coins you could use Brie or Tallegio
- 1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary/ thyme leaves, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- salt & black pepper
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium low heat and cook the shallots slowly for about 20 minutes until they are softened and caramelized. Meanwhile 1/2 or quarter the mushrooms if large and put them in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice,garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt & pepper and mix well.
When the onions are done remove them from the pan, add a bit more butter and throw in the mushrooms and garlic mix. Pre heat oven to 220 degrees. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Meanwhile roll out your pastry to about 2 mm thick. If you are keeping it as a rectangle score a border around the edge of the pastry about 2 cm wide and prick all over the centre inside the border with a fork. If not cut two circles (I used side plates) from your pastry and score a 2cm border round the edge & prick the base with a fork.
Put the pastry circles/rectangle on a lined baking sheet and scatter over the shallots and mushrooms, don’t go into the border. Break up the goat’s cheese and stick it in amongst the mushrooms & shallots, sprinkle with a bit more rosemary. Brush the borders with some of the butter from the mushroom pan drizzle over any remaining butter.
Cook in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed & golden.
Eat with something green, like broccoli, if you think it needs something else. If not, just eat it on it’s own, in slices with your hands like a Mushroom “Puff” Pizza….