Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tart

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Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tart
This tart is a hit!

Last week, one of us had to go to a dinner meeting that’s sort of a potluck, and that happens about once a month. We always look forward to deciding what to make, debating the ease versus the tastiness, and evaluating how many other things we’re going to have going as we get closer to the appointed date. But, the most important thing we think about is how well the dish will travel. For salads and many desserts, this is easy, as most salads and desserts travel well, and taste good even if they are a bit warmer than one might like.

Main dishes, however, are more problematic, since some of those taste best when they’re  hot before they start to congeal or separate. So, we spend some time discussing what we think are the pros and cons for each dish we’re considering. The other thing we try to consider is whether the dish is “different enough,” meaning, is the dish something that people will find new and interesting, and, more to the point, do we find it new and interesting?

We finally settled on a couple of Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tarts that we found in Eric Lanlard’s book, Tart It Up! They seemed well within our abilities and simply sounded good. In the photos below, you’ll see us putting together two of these tarts, but, not to worry, the recipe is for just one tart.

Makes one 9-inch tart.

Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tart

Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 Pâte Brisée, chilled and ready to roll
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, assorted colors
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 ounces Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup crumbled (5-6 ounces) Feta cheese
  • 2 Tbs chives, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll out dough and fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Dock bottom of crust and refrigerate 15 minutes. Line with baking parchment or foil and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is set. Remove the paper and weights and bake crust another 10 to 15 minutes, or until it's beginning to turn golden. Set aside, but leave the oven on.

Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tomatoes start to soften. Remove from oven and set aside. Keep oven on.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have cooked through and almost all the liquid has been cooked off, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the 4 eggs. Stir in the Feta cheese, followed by the mushrooms and chives.

Pour egg mixture into the crust and arrange tomato halves on top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden and eggs are set.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2014/02/mushroom-feta-and-tomato-tart/

Ingredient discussion:

Eggs: the best ones come from happy hens and you want the best. This is an egg dish, after all. For the crust, we suggest the Pâte Brisée because it’s the simplest and best crust recipe we know of. We had to buy the cherry tomatoes at the store, and, even though we purchased organic tomatoes, they were substandard. One taste and you could tell they were picked green and treated with ethylene gas to make them look ripe — they weren’t. So, if you can get truly ripe cherry tomatoes, your tart will be far better. Don’t buy pre-crumbled Feta cheese, it loses its flavor as it sits in that tub; instead, buy a chunk of Feta and just crumble it with your fingers.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Move a rack to the center of the oven.

Roll dough. Roll out the pastry crust between two pieces of baking parchment. By using parchment, you don’t need to add flour during the rolling (but if you don’t have parchment paper, use as little flour as possible). Once you have a large enough disk, fit it into a 9-inch tart pan.

docking crust
Docking or piercing the crust with a fork locks the top of the crust to the bottom, so you don’t have huge puffy spots.

Dock and chill. Use the tines of a fork to prick the bottom of the tart crust. Pressing the tines all the way through the crust helps to keep the crust from puffing up in large bubbles. It “docks” the top of the crust to the bottom, holding it in place. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm.

weighted crust
The rice will help hold the crust in place while it bakes. You can’t see the crust; hence, the term blind-baking.

Weight down crust. Place a piece of parchment over the crust and around the edges, then fill with pie weights or dried rice to hold it in place. We found that about a cup of rice was sufficient.

baking a crust
When you remove the weights, the crust will still look wet on the bottom because of the rice; just pop it back in for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Bake. Slide in the oven and bake until the crust is set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the paper and the weights and continue to bake until the crust begins to turn golden brown and the crust looks dry and puffy across the bottom, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. At this stage, the crust is not completely baked (sometimes referred to as half-baked blind), but it’s baked enough that it won’t get soggy when the filling is added. Leave the oven on.

blind-baked crust
Done! You can see that docking did its job, minimizing the puffing.

 

 

cherry tomatoes
We wanted the cherry tomatoes cut side up so that the juices wouldn’t leak out while they baked.

Roast tomatoes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Slide into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften. Remove from the oven and set aside, leaving the oven on.

roasted tomatoes
Only bake the tomatoes until they start to soften. You’ll need to place them on the tart, and, if they’re too soft, that will be difficult.

 

 

cooking mushrooms
Let the mushrooms cook until they release all their liquid, then continue until most of the liquid is cooked off.

Cook mushrooms. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are tender, and almost all the juices released by the mushrooms have been cooked away, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

adding Feta cheese
Feta cheese is so tasty, it’s going to be great in this tart.

Make filling. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Stir in Feta cheese, followed by the mushrooms and chives.

adding chives
Once the feta is in the filling, add the mushrooms and the chives, and stir to combine.

 

Fill crust. Pour the filling into the crust, distributing the mushrooms and cheese throughout the tart. The filling should come up to the edge of the crust. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer across the top.

Mushroom, Feta, and Tomato Tart
This tart is a hit! Isn’t it pretty with the different colors of tomatoes?

Bake. Slide into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown around the edges and the eggs are fully set in the middle. If the edges start to brown too quickly, you can cover them with a bit of foil to protect them from the heat.

Everyone at the dinner meeting loved these. Secretly, we’d hoped that there might be a little left over for us to have the next day, but no such luck (we’d made a tiny one with the scraps of dough and a bit of filling, so it’s not as if we didn’t get any). Although we lacked leftovers, we were glad that these were such a hit with everyone. After all, we can make one of these anytime we want. The one thing that we were concerned about while making these tarts was the amount of salt. If you’ve had Feta cheese, you know how salty it can be, but that saltiness was tempered by the mushrooms and the eggs, so it wasn’t too salty. We can hardly wait until summer to try this with some truly ripe tomatoes. Five stars.

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