In case you weren’t tipped off by last week’s k-mart catalogue shouting ‘last minute gifts for mum‘, the Sunday just past was Mothers’ Day. We decided to celebrate by having a big family feast, cooked by the cousins for the mothers.
My favourite dish of the day was wild mushroom and shallot tarts. This was inspired by a recipe in Guy Grossi’s Grossi Florentino: Secrets and Recipes. I changed the quantities a fair bit though, as I found they didn’t quite work for me.
My lovely cousin C made the tart shells with a savoury shortcrust pastry. She rolled the pastry out to about 3 millimetres thick and then cut it with round cookie cutters. She then pressed them into small buttered and floured tins. After that, they were blind baked for about 10 minutes. Et voilà:
My job was to make the filling. We had picked up some absolutely gorgeous wild mushrooms from the Collingwood farmers’ market on the Saturday. We had slippery jacks, pine/saffron milk caps and field mushrooms. (Some pictures here.) I love the slippery jacks, especially. I love the name, the taste, and the spongy yellow spores. C said that they looked like coral.
It took me a while to clean the mushrooms up as they were a little muddy. I wiped them with paper towel because washing mushrooms with water makes them waterlogged and slimy. I peeled away some of the extra-dirty parts so that we didn’t end up with gritty tarts. Don’t think mum would like that.
This is how I made the filling:
500g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
200g shallots, peeled but left whole
125mL chicken stock (or vegetable)
2 tbs mixed herbs, chopped VERY finely (oregano, rosemary, sage etc.)
salt & pepper
goats cheese (we used holy goat, also from the market)
- Heat about 50mL of olive oil in a small saucepan on medium-low. Add the shallots. Stir them constantly for about 5 minutes until they gently brown and break up. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Heat up about 50mL olive oil in a separate, larger, frypan. Add the mushrooms, herbs, and shallot mixture. Fry for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are as you like them. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Reheat the tart shells for about three minutes in a hot oven.
- Spoon the warm mushroom mixture into the hot tart shells. Sprinkle with goats cheese and enjoy.
This makes about 25 tarts of assorted sizes. Just enough for a little party…