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Author Notes: I lived in Italy for a year during college (and subsequently have returned nearly every year) and fell in love with funghi di bosco (wild mushrooms)... I learned a lot about food from Francesca (my stand-in Italian Nonna) of which the most important thing was -- to use what you have, what ever is in season -- and thus make variations on dishes according to what seasonal produce you can get. I've done dozens of variations on this tart and it always ends up being the star of the show. It doesn't sound as wild or intriguing as most of my recipes but it is truly outrageous. In fact, at Christmas, in the midst of a vast dinner assemblage, three people who claimed to have been averse to mushrooms since day one, insisted it was one of the all-time best things they had ever eaten. Make it without the arugula if you don't have any in your kitchen window or greenhouse, or substitute the parmigiano for gruyere, chevre, pecorino or feta... - saucy. von Trapp
Makes one 9.5 inch round tart or 14 x 4 rectangle
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups butter (I prefer salted) cut into small (1in.) pieces
- 1/8 cup ice water (approximately)
- 1 dash salt
- Place flour & salt in food processor and process for a few 10 seconds.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mix resembles large crumbs.
- Drizzle the ice water through the feed tube slowly while pulsing the machine -- pulse just until your dough is formed.
- Wrap your dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- 3 ounces dried wild mushrooms (I used Porcini today but any wild mushroom blend will be delicious)
- 1 large red onion
- 1 large shallot
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cups loosely packed parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (this is optional - I had frozen whole cherries from the garden)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (Amoré brand is the best)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or a blend of wine & marsala)
- 1/2 cup good beef stock (preferably homemade)
- 1 dash of sea salt (I like sel gris)
- 1 dash of white pepper
- 1 dash of black pepper
- 1 pinch of fresh thyme (dried is fine too)
- 4 eggs (I used farm eggs which are not as large as your avg. supermkt egg - if you are using XL eggs, go with three, rather than four.)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other cheese (see above)
- 2 cups baby arugula tossed with a drizzle of olive oil
- Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for about 35 mins (start before you make the paté brisée)
- Place onion, shallot and parsley in food processor and pulse until you have a fine dice (or chop if you prefer)
- Heat butter and olive oil in heavy-bottom sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the above chopped ingredients and sauté, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes, then add the garlic.
- Drain the mushrooms and rinse to assure all of the sand is removed. Then add them to the saucepan and sauté for five mins.
- Add wine, broth, tomato paste, tomatoes (if using), salt, pepper and herbs. stir.
- Cook about 30 mins until the mixture is thick, don't forget to taste!! Adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Transfer the tart filling to a different dish and cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 375 and roll out paté brisée.
- Line your chosen tart pan (with removable bottom) with crust and cover with wax or parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dry beans or rice (up to the rim).
- Bake crust until 35 mins (until just showing a hint of color) then remove wax paper and return crust to oven to bake for 20 more minutes or until a nice golden brown (keep a close watch as all ovens are different).
- MEANWHILE: lightly beat the eggs and add Parmigiano, then add to the filling mixure.
- Fill crust with cooled mushroom filling (you may have a little extra) and return to oven for 15 minutes or until filling is cooked through (firm).
- Remove tart from oven and let cool. This tart is lovely served warm or room temperature - some like it cold as well. Top with arugula before serving... (unfortunately my winter supply was waning, hence the absence of greenery in the photo).
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Late Winter Tart (Sweet or Savory)