The Ultimate Vegetarian Valentine’s Day Menu: Part III
Round out your vegetarian Valentine's Day with this savory main course. The presentation is beautiful and it's actually a lot simpler than it looks to create. Plus, the rich buttery crust and truffle-infused mushroom duxelles scream decadence and luxury. If any of the mushrooms are unavailable, you can substitute any type of fresh mushrooms that are available.
Truffle Mushroom Tart
Makes about two servings
For duxelles (filling)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 4 ounces oyster mushrooms
- 1 large portobello cap
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 ounces white wine
- 1 ounce truffle oil
- 2 ounces + 1 ounce butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Process mushrooms in food processor, pulsing until mushrooms are finely minced, but not puréed into a paste. Reserve.
- Finely mince the onion, rosemary leaves and thyme leaves. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they cook down to about half the original volume. They should have a very dark color. Add the onion, thyme and rosemary and continue to sauté until onions are soft, about five minutes.
- Next, add the white wine and continue to cook over medium heat. Allow the wine to reduce and absorb into the mushrooms, about five more minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the butter and truffle oil, and season with salt and pepper. Chill and reserve.
For the crust
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Small amount of flour for dusting work surface.
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow it to warm up slightly at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface. It should remain firm, but slightly pliable, about five minutes.
- Using the bottom of an 8-inch tart pan, or just an 8-inch plate as a guide, cut two matching circles from the puff pastry. Place one circle on a baking sheet and the other back in the freezer.
- Next, pile the duxelles filling into a mound in the center of the puff pastry, leaving a one-inch ring around the edges. Transfer back to the freezer for five to ten minutes to re-firm the puff pastry.
- While the crust is in the freezer, make your egg wash by beating together one whole egg with one ounce of cold water.
- Remove both the top and bottom crust from the freezer and return to your work station. Before proceeding with the tart assembly, cut a small hole directly in the center of the top crust (the one with no mushrooms on it), about the size of a pencil. Brush the bottom crust (the one with the duxelles filling on it) with the egg wash, covering just the portion of crust not covered by duxelles. Place the now pliable top crust on and press the two sheets of puff pastry together. Be sure to seal the seams tightly — you can really pinch the edges together.
- At this point you’re ready to decorate the crust. First, using the backside of a paring knife blade, pull the edge of the dough inward at one-inch intervals to make scalloped edges (see photo). Once you have scalloped all edges of the tart, cut curved lines into the tart top with the tip of the paring knife. The lines should connect from the center vent hole to each of the scallops on the edge, making a graceful curve as they go (see photo). The cuts should not go more than halfway through the puff pastry dough.
- Brush the entire tart carefully with the remaining egg wash. Make sure it is evenly coated and that there is not excessive egg wash pooling anywhere on the tart or it will burn.
- Place the tart into preheated oven. The tart will need to bake for about 20 minutes. It should be rotated about halfway through the cooking to ensure even browning.
- Once the tart is a dark, golden brown, puffed up and shiny, it is ready. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
- This dish is beautiful served with a simple green salad, dressed with just a little oil and vinegar.
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