I recently had to teach a cooking class that was all about easy appetizers and party hors d’oeuvres. This goat cheese and mushroom medley tart has always been one of my favorites and I think I just made it some other people’s favorite, as well. It’s super easy to make and absolutely mouth-watering.
French cooking has always been one of my favorite styles, especially since I went to Le Cordon Bleu where everything was taught to us the French way. Tarts are a must in French homes as they are easy to enjoy with a glass of locally-made wine such as a chardonnay or pinot noir from Bordeaux or Alsace.
I love creating things from scratch but sometimes there just isn’t a whole lot of time. In an effort to keep things easy, I recommend using pre made puff pastry dough, flatbread dough, or crescent rolls for this recipe. It’ll be your little secret and your guests will never have to know! Unless you want to share the recipe, of course.
For this recipe you will need:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 lb. leeks, cleaned, white & 1″ pale green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. mushroom medley, cremini, button, shiitake – thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c creme fraiche
4 oz. softened goat cheese, crumbled
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
All-purpose flour for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add all of the mushrooms and sauté unit they begin to break down and become tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Next, add the sliced leeks to the mushrooms along with the thyme leaves, rosemary leaves, and freshly minced garlic. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the leeks begin to soften and mushrooms have cooked down even more. *You will know when your mushrooms are ready for the next step once they have released their water and the water has begun to evaporate.*
De-galze the pan with the 1/2 cup dry white wine and reduce until almost all of the wine is evaporated (au sec – “nearly dry” in French). Then, add the chicken stock and another pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the creme fraiche and goat cheese to the pan and give everything a big stir until it is evenly distributed. Taste the mushroom/leek mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat off.
On a floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry or crescent roll dough into a rectangle – 10″ x 12″ wide and 1/8th inches thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the mushroom & leek mixture to within 1″ of the edge of the dough, and fold the edges of the dough around the filling to make a free-form tart. Bake the tart until the crust puffs and begins to appear golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Keep a close eye on the tart! Allow the tart to cool once it comes out of the oven. Cut into bite-size pieces and serve warm.