This week’s Smitten Saturday recipe is the Wild Mushroom Tart, chosen because I’ve only ever made one tart before and why not try a savory one this time? I knew that, at the very least, my husband and I would eat it, even though it’s pretty much guaranteed that the children will cry if I attempt to feed it to them.
I worry about crust. So much so that I was well into my 30s before I attempted to make a pie crust from scratch. I don’t know why I’m so intimidated by it, even when by now I have made some very delicious crusts (my favorite is Martha Stewart’s pate brisee). So, naturally, I worried about this crust. I worried that it wasn’t coming together right in the food processor. I worried about whether it was going to roll out successfully (rolling is my bete noir of crustmaking).
And when I followed the instructions about transferring the crust (with a sheet of plastic wrap underneath; I highly recommend the use of a bench scraper to aid in this maneuver), I kind of stopped breathing because this is one fragile crust, y’all. It WANTS to fall apart on you. And once you wriggle the plastic wrap out from underneath the crust after you’ve centered it in the tart pan (I really couldn’t see a way to follow the placement instructions as written without sprouting a third arm), a technique mastered by shy girls everywhere who remove their bathing suits in the locker room while fully clothed, you are good to go. The rest is gravy. Unless, of course, you get so busy with PTA stuff while you are parbaking the crust that you forget about it and quite possibly overcook it in the process.
My version of the tart isn’t as pretty as the one in the book, but it is quite tasty. I realized as I was eating a small wedge of it (beats the Honey Nut Cheerios I had for breakfast!) that I forgot to add the salt and pepper, but it absolutely is not missing the salt. Mushroom is the dominant flavor here (obv), rounded out nicely by the thyme and shallots. I would prefer a bit more garlic, and next time I won’t forget the pepper. I can’t wait to hear what my husband thinks of it! This would make for a really lovely vegetarian dinner with some roasted beets or some lovely balsamic braised green beans on the side. Or even a simple green salad.
Be sure to check out my writeup of Deb Perelman’s appearance at BookPeople last night! It was kind of an ideal night for me: I listened to Perelman answer questions (she is quite funny and dry), sit in a comfy chair reading a compelling book, then got to meet Perelman and talk to her about picky eaters (i.e., our small children).