Sauteed wild mushrooms on a puff pastry bed
Saturday’s at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market always get me brimming with excitement. My mind races, as my eyes dart in every direction. Ideas bounce through my head. My nerves go crazy with worry that I might miss something.
You can easily get drawn into a lengthy conversation with the any of these purveyors. I tend to lurk a little longer than acceptable and ask one too many questions at any stands having anything to do with dairy (I sometimes think about trading in my city digs for an alternate life as a cheesemaker).
If you tracked my line through the market, I’m sure it’d look like some crazy lady chasing a twenty, floating away in the wind. I bop in and out, making abrupt turns every time I catch a whiff or a glimpse of something tasty.
On my last visit, my eyes made a beeline to one stand in particular. Wild mushrooms. The earthy aroma and whimsical fungi shapes are impossible to resist. I bought 3 pounds of multi-colored oyster and shiitake, without thinking for a second about how I might put them to use.
It was the mental image of a forgotten puff pastry in my freezer that quickly brought life to something flaky, decadent and fitting for fall. Wild mushroom tartlets.
Puff pastry is one of those things I just don’t think it’s worth it to make yourself. I’m sure if you had the time, patience and affinity for baking, fresh puff pastry would take a dish to the next level. I don’t have any of those things, so frozen puff pastry works perfectly for me!
The mushrooms are the real star of this party. The pastry just gives them a beautifully fluffy bed to lie on. I didn’t want anything to distract from the pleasant woody flavor of the mushrooms. I added some balsamic roasted onions to amp of the savory and balance with a hint of tartness. A fresh ricotta parmesan filling gives a nutty, creamy finish. They’re a real crowd pleaser for parties, but also great for curling up with on a cozy evening.
Before you go thinking, “hey there’s no food erotica or innuendoin the post”. Let’s not forget the delightful double entendre of the word “tartlets”.
Cheeky little pastries.
- 1 package puff pastry
- 2 pounds wild mushrooms (if you can’t find wild, anything you can find at your local store will work)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large sweet onion
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Roll out puff pastry and cut in 4 inch circles, leave on a baking rack in the fridge
- Slice the onion, I like big chunks for a rustic feel and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes
- Sauté the mushrooms in the butter with thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until tender all butter is absorbed and mushrooms are tender about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Mix ricotta, parmesan and creme fraiche in a bowl.
- Combine mushrooms and onions
- Take the puff pastry out of the fridge, score around the edge, by poking the pastry with a fork about 1 cm in from the edge.
- Spread the ricotta mixture on the puff pastry, about 2 tablespoons per circle, spread until you reach the scored edge (this way the pastry will puff up around the sides).
- Place mushrooms and onions on top of the ricotta mixture.
- Scramble the egg and mix with a bit of water to make and egg wash, brush the edges of your pastry with the egg wash.
- Bake for 20 mins, till the edges puff up and the pastry is slightly golden,
- Serve immediately