Cooking With Mushrooms

Chanterelle Tart with Roasted Garlic Custard
Serves 6 to 8; makes one 9-inch tart

Make this sleek, elegant tart in the fall when wild mushrooms are in season. The woodsy chanterelles and tender leeks blend perfectly into the rich roasted garlic custard.

There's really no substitute for chanterelles, but if you can't find them, use crimini or white mushrooms instead. Just be sure to sear them with plenty of fresh garlic and deglaze the pan with white wine to capture all the juices. The chanterelles will be missed, but the earthy mushroom flavor will still be there.

Yeasted Tart Dough (recipe below)
Roasted Garlic Puree (recipe below)
½ pound chanterelle mushrooms
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Crème Fraiche
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts only, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced, and washed,
about 2 cups
¼ cup white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, about 2/3 cup

  • Make the tart dough and follow the instructions for lining the tart pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • Using a brush or damp cloth, carefully clean the chanterelles. Remove the dirt and bits of organic matter, but don't wash them, or they'll soak up the water and lose their delicate flavor. Trim off the base of the stems if they're particularly dirty and discard. Cut the mushrooms into large pieces, or thickly slice them, being sure to include the stem. You should have about 2½ cups.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and whisk in the Roasted Garlic Puree followed by the milk, cream, crème fraiche, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and add the leeks, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the leeks begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook for one minute more. Add the chanterelles and a few pinches of salt and pepper and gently sauté until just tender and cooked through. (The cooking time will depend on the moisture in the mushrooms.) Stir in the thyme and set aside to cool.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the rolled dough and spread the mushroom mixture over it. Pour the custard over and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is golden.

    Roasted Garlic Puree

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Place a head or two of garlic pointy end up in a small baking dish and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Throw in a few fresh sage leaves or a sprig or two of fresh thyme if you like. Roast until tender all the way through, about 35 to 40 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a paring knife or skewer. When cool enough to handle, cut off the top end and squeeze the cloves into a small bowl. (You can also do this later, but you'll get more garlic if you squeeze it warm.) Puree in a small food processor or mash with a fork until smooth. Two large heads of garlic make about 1/3 cup of puree.

    Yeasted Tart Dough
    Makes one 9-inch tart shell

    We've used this lovely, supple dough since the early days of Greens. It has all the wonderful qualities of a dear old friend - it's forgiving, reliable, and always true. It's tender and moist just like brioche dough and it's easy to work by hand. Because the dough is yeasted, it doesn't need to be prebaked. Be sure the butter is soft, but not melted, and the egg is warmed to room temperature before you mix it into the dough. You can make it a day ahead of time and hold it in the refrigerator. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and allow it to return to room temperature before you roll it.

    1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    Pinch of sugar
    ¼ cup warm (110 F) water
    1 cup all-purpose white flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 large egg, room temperature
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    Flour for shaping

  • Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and set in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until foamy. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well. Whisk the egg and pour it into the middle of the well, along with the softened butter and yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a soft, smooth dough. Dust it lightly with flour and gather into a ball; place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you're not ready to shape the dough, knead it and let it rise again.
  • Use a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board until about 1 inch larger than the bottom of the pan. Place the dough in the pan and press it evenly against the sides. It should be about ½-inch higher than the pan. Fold the edges over and press again, so the dough is just a little above the rim of the pan. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes, then fill it, or refrigerate it until needed. Once the tart is filled, bake in the middle of a 375º F oven for 35 to 45 minutes.

    Tip: If you forget to pull the egg from the refrigerator, you can place it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to bring it up to room temperature.

    Grilled Porcini Salad with Watercress, Endive and Shaved Parmesan
    Serves 4

    Save your favorite extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic for this exquisite salad. We use Parmesan here, but manchego, Pecorino or aged goat cheese are also delicious.

    1 pound fresh porcini mushrooms
    1 clove garlic, minced
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper
    2 handfuls of watercress sprigs, washed and dried
    1 head red or white endive, end trimmed and leaves separated
    Aged balsamic vinegar
    Wedge of Parmesan cheese

  • Prepare the grill. Using a brush or damp cloth, clean the porcini. Remove the dirt and bits of organic matter, but don't wash them, or they'll soak up the water and lose their delicate flavor. Trim off the base of the stems if dirty and discard. Cut into large pieces or thickly slice, being sure to include the stems.
  • Add the garlic to 1/3 cup of the olive oil and brush it over the porcini. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill over medium coals, turning as needed, until tender.
  • Loosely arrange the watercress and endive leaves on a platter and place the grilled porcini on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and aged balsamic. Use a vegetable peeler to shave curls of Parmesan over the salad and serve.

    Recipes courtesy of Chef Annie Somerville of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.