Did you know that the DNA of humans is more closely related to fungi than it is to plants? We share nearly 50% of our DNA with them! The fabric of life that we experience today, as well as the expansion of human consciousness, gives credit to this underground, mycological network that we call fungi. So eat some more mushrooms, ladies, and gentlemen, they’re delicious.
I love mushrooms. Crimini, portabello, shiitake, oyster, psilocybin, you name it, I’ll eat it. I will take up any opportunity to use mushrooms in my cooking, I love them that much. They’re meaty, they’re hearty, and they’re divinely delicious. Therefore, I wanted to make a meal where every bite was full of deliciously seasoned, and perfectly textured mushrooms. Lo and behold, I have created the mushroom & brussels tart.
How to make a Mushroom, Brussels, & Leek Tart?
Make the Crust
The base of this tart is a simple crust made from flour, butter(vegan, of course! I like to use Earth Balance), salt, and ice water. Start by scooping 16 tablespoons(1 cup) of cold butter into the sifted flour and salt. Working rather quickly to ensure the butter stays at a relatively low temperature, use your hands to evenly incorporate the butter with the flour and then slowly add the ice water. Without overworking the dough, form it into a rough ball, and then transfer it to a floured surface or piece of parchment paper to shape it into a disk. Shaping the dough into a disk before chilling it will make rolling it out much easier when the time comes. Cover it in some plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour.
It is so important to keep your ingredients cold while making the crust, as well as giving the crust time to chill in the refrigerator before rolling it out. When the butter is cold and encouraged to stay cold with the use of ice water, it creates separate layers in the dough. So, therefore, when the dough is baked, the butter releases some of its moisture, creating pockets of air in between the layers of dough, rendering the flakey crust we all know and love. Since my preferred method of mixing dough is with my hands, I must work rather quickly so my own body heat does not compromise the temperature and ultimate flakiness of the baked result.
Make the filling
The filling for this tart is a delightful combination of leeks, garlic, thyme, brussels sprouts, and mushrooms in a savory, thickened white wine sauce. Start by sauteing some leeks(or feel free to use another member of the allium family, such as a yellow onion, or shallot), then your garlic and thyme.
Next in line are the mushrooms, mushrooms, and more mushrooms! Feel free to use whatever kind of mushrooms you enjoy or have on hand. For this recipe, I used a mixture of portobello and crimini. Once the mushrooms are soft and have released their moisture, it’s time to add the white wine and sliced brussels sprouts.
I used Cocobon Chardonnay, for I once heard someone say “never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink”, and this is probably my favorite buttery chardonnay I have come across at Trader Joe’s. Only ½ a cup is needed for the recipe, which leaves the rest to enjoy as you cook!
The white wine is then transformed into a thickened sauce with the addition of flour dissolved in some veggie broth(or water). Make sure to remember this important step of dissolving the flour in a liquid, or the flour will clump in the pan, and not do its due diligence as a thickener. For the best results, continuously stir as you pour in the dissolved flour with the veggies.
Assemble the tart
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about ⅛”-¼” thick, then carefully transfer it to a tart pan. Start by pressing down the dough in the middle of the pan, and work outwards to conform it to the shape of the pan. Trim off any excess overhang with a pair of scissors, and then use both index fingers to level off the edge of the crust, so it will be flat and parallel with the bottom of the crust. Prick it with a fork a couple of times so it can breathe while cooking, and then pour the filling into the dough. At this point, you can use any extra dough to create a design on top or place it in the oven at 360°F to bake for 1 hour. If the tart begins to burn while cooking, fear not! Just cover it with some foil and place it back in the oven until the cooking time is complete.
When pressing down the dough in the pan, make sure to apply a decent amount of pressure to the walls of the pan, so the dough can mold to its oh-so-flattering ribbed shape. I absolutely LOVE my tart pan, mainly because it has a removable bottom, making removal of the tart to be absolutely seamless, allowing me to show off that beautiful crust perimeter. I got my tart pan at Joann’s craft store for $12 and it’s been a fantastic investment thus far. Highly recommended.
Designing the dough
This is totally optional, but if you’re looking for an extra artistic outlet, go for it! You could realistically use cookie cutters, or get creative with whatever tools you have on hand, but the following paragraph explains my method to making more abstract designs:
I typically start out by drawing a design on a piece of paper and then cut it out with scissors to create a stencil. I then place the stencil over my rolled-out, excess dough and cut around the stencil with a small, wheel-shaped crust cutter. For extra detail around the general shape of the design, I use the tip of a small paring knife or scalpel. The gills of the mushrooms were made by apply light pressure with a scalpel, while the dots were made from the cap of a pen. I’m no professional, here! I just use whatever I can find laying around the house. The most important part of the designing process is to just have fun with it!
Once the tart is cooled and ready to eat, slice it up like a pizza and enjoy! Pair with a side salad of leafy greens doused in a balsamic vinaigrette or some roasted green beans. This tart is a fabulous compliment to a cozy and comforting night at home!
Store this tart in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator for up to a week, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Did you make and enjoy the magic of this mushroom tart?
If so, let me know how it turned out!
Vegan Mushroom & Brussels Tart
- Tart Pan
- Rolling Pin
- 2 ½ cups Flour
- 1 cup Butter, cold
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ cup Ice Water
- 20 oz Mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 8 oz Brussels Sprouts, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Leek, sliced
- 2 tbsp Thyme, chopped
- 2 tbsp Oil
- ½ cup White wine
- 2 tsp Flour
- ½ cup Veggie broth or water
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
Prepare the crust
- Combine sifted flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add scoops of cold butter to the bowl, one tbsp at a time.
- Use your hands to fully combine the butter with the flour and salt.
- Add cold water slowly and continue to combine with your hands until a dough forms.
- Place the dough on a floured surface or piece of parchment paper and shape it into a disk.
- Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least a half hour.
Prepare the filling
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the chopped leeks and saute for 5 minutes, making sure to stir often to avoid burning.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, salt/pepper and cook for about 8 minutes or until the mushrooms start to release their moisture.
- When the mushrooms become soft, add the white wine, brussels and cook for 5 minutes.
- While the veggies cook, use a small bowl to mix the flour with the veggie broth until the flour dissolves.
- Add the flour/broth mixture to the veggies and stir to combine. Cook until the liquid in the pan thickens.
- Remove the veggies from the heat and set aside to cool.
Roll the dough
- Preheat oven to 360°F.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator, place it on a floured surface and roll it out to the desired thickness. (Standard thickness = ⅛ – ¼ inch)
- Carefully place the dough into a greased tart pan. (Preferably one with a removable bottom).
- Press the dough down to conform it to the shape of the pan and trim the overhang with scisccors.
- Prick the dough with a fork a couple times.
- Pour the filling into the dough.
- Use excess dough to create any design you'd like and carefully place it on top of the filling.
- Place the tart in the oven and cook for 1 hour. If it begins to burn, cover the tart with foil until the hour is complete.
- Remove from the oven an allow it to cool for at leat 10 minutes.