Here’s a lovely appetizer or light lunch dish that would also make a wonderful vegetarian entrée if you left out the prosciutto – it’s delicious either way.
You could also make it as one large tart but I happen to like individual tarts as I think they’re prettier on the plate.
Using that great shortcut standby, ready-made frozen puff pastry (one of the few processed food items that I’ll occasionally cook with), these only take about 15 minutes to assemble. Rosemary and garlic go brilliantly with mushrooms and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano along with a dollop of crème fraiche, combine to create a luxurious filling that holds together well.
If you have some, here’s a perfect opportunity to use the duxelles (rich mushroom paste) that you made before and froze in ice-cube trays; the truffle oil, porcini and hint of Madeira will elevate the filling to another mouthwatering level – one tablespoon will do.
With or without duxelles (or prosciutto), these are very good melt-in-the-mouth tarts and I doubt you’ll have much in the way of leftovers.
13-14 oz (375-400g) of frozen puff pastry, thawed
All purpose flour, for dusting
1 oz (28g) butter
11 oz (300g) of assorted wild mushrooms and/or baby portabellas (brown chestnut mushrooms), wiped clean and sliced
1 oz (28g) parmesan, finely grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 slices of prosciutto, trimmed of fat and chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon of crème fraiche
1 tablespoon of duxelles (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
1 egg, beaten
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and cut 4 circles or squares, about 6 inches (15cm) across. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg, then fold in about ½ inch (1.5cm) border around the edge of each tart. Chill them on a lined baking tray in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C).
Heat a large sauté pan until it’s hot, add the butter then sauté the mushrooms for about 5 mins until they’re cooked through and there’s no liquid left in the pan.
Turn off the heat and season the mushrooms to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the grated Parmesan, rosemary, garlic, crème fraiche; prosciutto and duxelles (if using).
Take the pastry out of the fridge and spoon the mushroom mixture into the center of each; brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.
Stick the tarts in the oven and bake for about for 20 mins, or until the pastry is puffy and golden.
Serve immediately with a few shavings of good Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.