Sweet Caramelized Onions + Peppery Sauteed Mushrooms + Crisp Pastry + Creamy Cheese Sauce = Yum yum YUM!!!
If you've ever enjoyed this combination, I need not say more. If not, then you are definitely missing out on something. Raj definitely did, the guy just won't eat mushrooms. I had to make something else for him, but that's a recipe for another week. But for now, it's all about this individual sized portion of rich cheesy heaven.
This Caramelized Onion Mushroom Tart is perfect for the cold winter days. Winter always makes me want to have rich warm food. I'll give you two options - wait for winter. When the nights are cold, snuggle up under a blanket on the sofa or next to the heater and eat a warm hearty sized portion of this amazing Caramelized Onion Mushroom Tart, OR, say why wait for winter when I can have this piece of yummy goodness right now.
Read on to find out why you should be choosing option 2.
Caramelized Onions are super delicious. Sweet, soft, rich brown is the way to go. Caramelizing onions is a slow process, you have to lovingly delicately coax those pungent crisp onions into sweet submission. But here's the good part, you can caramelize them in advance and stock them in your fridge. After that they can go into sandwiches, on top of crackers or soups, or you know, eat them just like that standing in front of your fridge. They taste great anyway. To caramelize the onions, slice the onions into slices and then gently fry them on low heat with a pinch of salt until they brown slightly. Then add balsamic vinegar, sugar or jaggery, and a little bit of water or stock and let them cook until they are sweet, soft and dark brown. Just make sure they never burn or they will turn bitter. I promise you this is the only time bit of the tart that actually takes some effort.
Mushrooms - The easiest part of the tart. Clean them, slice them, saute them. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and they are done. My favorite thing about mushrooms is how quickly they cook. Don't you just love it. I prefer when my mushrooms still have texture and bite to them, so I tend to undercook mushrooms. You go ahead and cook them how you like them. Remember, they also cook in the oven when the tart is baked after assembling.
Pastry seem daunting to you? All that rubbing cold butter with flour until it resembles sand? Keep that for another day. What I have here is a vegan pastry that can be made in under 5 minutes. Well, except the baking part, of course. Here's a recipe I learnt a long time ago - whisk cold water with oil and it combines to form a smooth emulsion. Add flour and salt to this and gently fold in. No kneading required. In fact, the recipe asks you to not knead. Mix until combined and then refrigerate it for 15-20 mins and then roll out and blind bake them for 15 more minutes until they are done. Wasn't that the easiest pastry you ever made?
The last bit is the Sauce. It is creamy, rich and cheesy. This sauce is what brings together the whole tart and also imparts the maximum flavour. It is a basic white sauce, may be slightly thicker than usual with added cheese. This sauce needs to be thick cause the tart does not contain any eggs, so a thin sauce will make your pastry soggy and the tart runny. To make the sauce, just fry flour in oil or butter and add milk. Add in the garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer until you get the desired consistency. Then just mix in grated cheese and allow it to cool slightly before adding to the tart.
The number of steps may look a lot, but then good things need some effort. Let's be realistic, I don't see you caramelizing onions or making a cheesy white sauce on a busy weeknight, but if you get a free night or weekend when you decide to sit at home and watch classic movies on TV, then give this Caramelized Onion Mushroom Tart a try, and I promise you will not regret the effort you put in. And when you are as well putting in the effort, let me tell you, make how much you think you will eat, and a little more, cause these tarts are DIVINE!!! Thank me later :)
If you liked this, you may also like:
- Vegetable Quiche - Mixed vegetable tart
- Eggplant Pizza - Guilt free pizza made with grilled eggplant as the base, topped with tomato sauce and cheese.
- Stuffed Potato Skins - Baked potato skins stuffed with an instant tomato sauce, fried green Capsicum and Mozzarella cheese.
Caramelized Onion Mushroom Tart
Caramelized Onion Mushroom Tart is a tart made with sweet caramelized onions, pepper sauteed mushrooms, an easy vegan pastry and creamy rich cheese-y white sauce.
Recipe Type: Breakfast / Snacks
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 6 Tarts (3.5" each)
For the Pastry:1 cup All Purpose Flour
0.25 cup Olive Oil
0.5 cup cold Water
0.25 tsp Salt
For the Filling:2 large Onions
10-12 button Mushrooms
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Water
2 tsp Jaggery Powder or Sugar
1.5 Tbsp Oil + 2-3 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
For the Sauce:3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1.25 cups Milk
25gms Cheese or 2 Cheese Cubes
3-4 cloves Garlic
0.25 tsp Nutmeg
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
To make the Pastry:
Whisk together 0.25 cups of water and the oil to form an emulsion.
Take the flour in a large bowl, add salt.
Add the emulsion to the flour and mix with a spatula or hands until combined.
Fold the dough 4-5 times, do not knead.
Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degree C.
Grease the tart tins.
Divide the pastry into 6 equal parts. This recipe uses 6 individual tart tins of 3.5" diameter. If you plan on making one large tart, do not divide the dough.
Dust the counter with flour and roll out the pastry until it is big enough to cover the tart tin.
Place the rolled out pastry in the tin and gently press the pastry in tin. Remove any excess pastry from the sides.
Put in baking beans and bake the pastry for 12-15 minutes or until done.
Allow them to cool a little and then remove the pastry shells from the tins and keep aside.
To make the Sauce:
Heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add in the flour and fry for 45-60 seconds.
Add the milk and allow it to come to a boil.
Lower the heat and add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Continue to simmer for 1-2 mins until the sauce thickens.
Grate the cheese into the sauce and mix well.
Simmer for another 2-3 mins and remove from heat. If the sauce has become very thick, add 1-2Tbsp milk to loosen it.
To make the Filling:
Slice the onions lengthwise.
Heat 1.5 Tbsp Oil in a frying pan.
Once it is hot, add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and mix well,
Fry the onions on low heat until they are golden brown. Caramelizing onions takes time, this may take around 18-20 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar or jaggery and 2 Tbsp of water and allow to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
When the onions are brown, sweet and soft, remove from heat and keep aside.
Slice the mushrooms.
Heat oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the mushrooms.
Add salt and pepper.
Saute the mushrooms for 4-5 mins until soft and remove from heat.
Assembling the Tart:
Preheat the oven to 200 degree C.
Place the caramelized onions and mushrooms in the tart.
Spoon in the sauce.
Sprinkle another layer of onions and mushrooms on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top browns.