Mushroom, Leek and Gruyere Tart

If vegetables were looking to elect a spokesperson, I’d nominate mushrooms. A bit of heat brings out the best in them. And when things get downright hot, they maintain their composure, refusing to dissolve into an incoherent mash. They work graciously with almost any herb, are effusively complementary to dairy, and are as comfortable with fancy-dress pastry as they are with a Casual Friday slice of toast. With a support staff of herbs, cheese, and garlic, this recipe lets the earthiness of mushrooms shine.

Recipe courtesy of Charmian from The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Serves: 4-6
NOTE: This tart is best eaten as soon as it is cool enough to handle. Leftovers can be wrapped and refrigerated, but the pastry will suffer. To reheat, pop under the broiler for a few minutes. Do not reheat in the microwave.

Ingredients

1 sheet commercial puff pastry or homemade Cheater’s Puff Pastry (page 44), defrosted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (see tip)
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white parts only, sliced lengthwise and slivered into half moons
16 ounces cremini or Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1″ pieces
Ground black pepper (optional)
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
Tip: 
To strip the thyme leaves from the stem in seconds, simply grasp the top of the sprig between your thumb and index finger. Using your other hand, gently pull the stem through your pinched fingers. The leaves will strip right off, no chopping required. This also works for rosemary, although you might want to mince the rosemary leaves, depending on the use.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a rimmed baking sheet, roll the puff pastry sheet out to a 10″ square. Using a sharp knife, gently score the pastry an inch inside the outer edge, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place the parchment with the scored pastry onto a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. When it bubbles, grate the garlic on a microplane into the pan. Add the thyme. Cook gently for 1 minute. Add the leeks and cook until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft but not weeping juices. Place the mushroom filling into a strainer and let drain for a few minutes.
4. Spoon the mushroom filling onto the pastry, being careful to keep inside the score marks. Add a grinding of fresh black pepper, if using. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden brown. Serve while hot.

Mushroom and Spinach Puffs

Recipe and photo courtesy of Kacey from The Cookie Writer.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 40 mins. | Makes: just over 2 dozen puffs.

Ingredients

Filling:
½ lb (2 large) portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed; cubed into small chunks
1 cup fresh baby spinach
Salt and pepper
½ tsp. ground thyme
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. butter
Dough:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. coarse mustard (optional but highly rewarding!)
¼ cup butter
2 eggs, room temperature
1 – ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. Add the butter and wait until it is very hot. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for a few more minutes until mushrooms are nice and golden (5 minutes total.) Stir in spinach and toss until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.
3. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the broth, mustard, and butter and place over high heat. Bring to just a boil and add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon while reducing the heat to low. Stir for 2 minutes or until a ball of dough forms (I like to cook the flour a bit like a roux so try and do 2 minutes minimum.) Remove from heat and pour into bowl of stand mixer (you can also do the remaining steps by hand but the mixer makes it easier.)
4. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. I stir in the mixture every minute to get the heat to disperse. With the paddle attachment and the mixer on medium, add 1 egg at a time and mix until well combined! Repeat with following egg. You want a smooth mixture. Pour in cheese and mushroom mixture and stir with wooden spoon until combined.
5. Using a 1 tablespoon-sized measuring device, spoon out balls of dough and place onto baking sheet, spreading out so about 12 fit per tray. Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until nicely brown and balls are firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet (you will know when they are ready to move when you have no difficulty picking them up!) Cool completely on wire rack. Serve as is!

French Onion Portobello Mushroom

These mushrooms are simple enough to pull together for a weekday veggie night, and sided with a simple salad, will make a full meal. But they would be equally at home beside some grilled flank steak, sauteed spinach and a glass of cab sauv.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Sarah from Kiwi & Bean.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 10 mins. | Serves:  4
Tip:  To make ahead, caramelize the onions up to several days in advance and/or soften the mushrooms a day or so in advance as well. Then all you have to do is assemble and broil.

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stem removed
4 onions, sliced into half moons
1/2 tbsp grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
4 small slices french or sourdough bread
2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine butter and preferred oil in a skillet over med-high heat (I used my cast iron for this). When butter is melted, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally and gradually reducing the heat to low, until the onions are very brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes. (You can let the onions caramelize while you prepare the rest. They don’t need your constant attention!) Add a bit of water if they start to dry out.
3. Brush mushroom caps with bit of oil and then bake them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment if you wish) for about 10-20 minutes, or until they soften and start to release a bit of liquid. Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil.
4. Divide cooked onions between the mushrooms, spreading them out. Top with a slice of bread and 1/4 of the grated cheese. Return to the oven and broil until the cheese starts to bubble and brown (time will depend on your broiler — just watch carefully!). Garnish with green onions, if using. Serve immediately on their own or with a little green salad.

Blended Meatballs with Spicy Sriracha Aioli

Mushrooms are blended with ground beef and seasoned to create the perfect appetizer-style meatball. Serve with Spicy Sriracha Aioli for an added kick.

Recipe by Brittany of My Daily Randomness.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins.
Makes approximately 20 meatballs.

Ingredients

Meatballs:
½ lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove minced garlic
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
Spicy Sriracha Aioli:
4 egg yolks
4 large cloves garlic peeled and pureed
1-2 tbsp Sriracha sauce (depending on desired spice level)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. In a skillet over medium heat cook chopped mushrooms until brown and most moisture has been released, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
4. In a large bowl combine cooled mushrooms, beef, seasoning, onion, garlic breadcrumbs and egg; mix all ingredients until incorporated. Shape mixture into 1½ inch meatballs. Place 1 inch apart on pan.
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until meatballs reach 160°F, are cooked through and center is no longer pink.
Spicy Sriracha Aioli
1. In a food processor add egg yolks, pureed garlic, and Sriracha sauce. Place the top on the bowl and turn on the machine and slowly drizzle in the oils. Once the oil is added stop the machine and check for consistence, if to thick you can whisk in a little water too thin as needed. Add the salt to taste.

Blended Meatballs

Umami-rich mushrooms are blended with ground beef and seasoned to create the perfect Italian-style meatball. Serve with marinara and spaghetti or toss with a Teriyaki sauce and serve as an appetizer.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Mushroom Council.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins.
Makes approximately 20 meatballs.

Ingredients

½ lb.  mushrooms, finely chopped
1 lb.  lean ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove minced garlic
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. In a skillet over medium heat cook chopped mushrooms until brown and most moisture has been released, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
4. In a large bowl combine cooled mushrooms, beef, seasoning, onion, garlic breadcrumbs and egg; mix all ingredients until incorporated. Shape mixture into 1½ inch meatballs. Place 1 inch apart on pan.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until meatballs reach 160°F, are cooked through and center is no longer pink.
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