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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Leek and Mushroom Tart

Paige, Ashley, and I have been getting together on a monthly basis for over a year now. We all look forward to our girl's dinners because they give us the chance to try new recipes, drink wine on a "school night", and catch up on stories that are best told in person rather than work email. Another perk? Making foods our significant others wouldn't like! Both Paige and Ashley have guys who hate mushrooms, so we try to incorporate them into the menu as often as possible.

This leek and mushroom tart that Paige made was a major win for all of us. I liked it so much I insisted on making it a few nights later when our friends Mike and Maggie came for dinner. They, too, loved it and the 4 of us had no problem polishing the whole thing off. Served alongside a salad (spinach, oranges, walnuts, feta, and the dressing from this salad!), it was a lovely Sunday night dinner and one I will definitely be repeating!

Leek and Mushroom Tart
adapted from Sunset, October 2006

for the crust-
-1 cup flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-7 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
-3 tbsp ice water

for the filling-
-3 tbsp butter
-3 leeks, white and very light green parts halved, cleaned, and thinly sliced
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 lb baby bella mushrooms
-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
-3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
-1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
-1 cup grated gruyere cheese

1. To make the crust, put flour, salt, pepper, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse, cornmeal-textured mixture forms. Add 3 tbsp ice cold water and pulse until the dough comes together (you may need to add a little bit more water, but do it sparingly or your dough will become too wet!). **Alternately, you can make this crust by hand by rubbing butter into flour mixture and adding water while stirring with a fork (I haven't tried this method and can't offer any suggestions!)
2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle. Place dough in a 9-inch tart pan and trim the edges that are overhanging. Cover dough with foil and weigh down with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. (I skipped the weights and my crust puffed up quite a bit. I was able to push it down when I filled the tart but you not want to follow my lead!)
4. Bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and bring to room temperature.
5. While crust is baking, melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add leaks and salt, cooking until leeks are soft (3 minutes). Add mushrooms, turning heat to high. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes. Stir in thyme, cream, and pepper. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
6. Spread 1/2 cup of grated cheese over the tart crust. Top with the mushroom-leek mixture and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature.