Asparagus and mushroom tarts
Do you know someone with a deathly fear of mushrooms?
I don’t understand the aversion at all. A few of my friends make claims about mushiness and tastelessness, but I passionately beg to differ. Mushrooms soak up so much flavor and make deliciously juicy mouthfuls. Unless you like bland and dry, what’s not to love?
In the midst of all my dessert-making a few weeks ago, I decided I needed more green in my diet. And that’s when I found the best recipe in defense of mushrooms: Asparagus and mushroom tarts from Bon Appetit on Epicurious.
Since I was cooking for two and didn’t have a rolling pin, I simply divided a single pastry sheet into four equal tarts. Don’t be afraid to pile on the veggies: The asparagus and mushroom will flatten while baking, and the puff pastry will rise to cradle the filling.
Creme fraiche sometimes proves tricky to track down. For a substitute here, I whipped a mixture of heavy cream and sour cream in a 4:1 ratio until soft peaks formed. (Other substitute recipes call for 1:1 ratios or use buttermilk instead of sour cream, but this second kind usually needs to sit for a day and I wanted to make these tarts the same night.)
Considering we gobbled the tarts right up without the thyme and lemon peel, which I’d forgotten in my hunger-induced haste, I’d say those two ingredients are quite optional.
This recipe does require some prep work, but other than the extra steps for making the creme fraiche substitute, this dish was pretty straightforward — and an absolute pleasure to the palate. If you want to change someone’s mind about mushrooms, I’d definitely give this a shot.
- 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 12 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche*
- 1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 ounces)
- Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish)
Roll out each pastry sheet on work surface to 10-inch square. Cut each into 4 squares. Using small knife, score 1/2-inch border (do not cut through pastry) around inside edges of each square. Arrange squares on 2 rimmed baking sheets. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to large bowl; cool 15 minutes. Add asparagus, chopped thyme, lemon peel, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to mushrooms. Mix in crème fraîche and cheese. DO AHEAD: Filling can be made 1 day ahead.Cover; chill.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Mound filling atop pastry squares, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.
Bake tarts 12 minutes. Reverse sheets. Continue to bake tarts until crusts are puffed and golden and filling is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to plates; garnish with thyme sprigs.
via Bon Appetit / Epicurious