Caramelised Mushroom Tart

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I’m not sure when ‘meat-free’ Mondays became a thing, but I’m okay with it in principal. In practice, however, I am just not usually that organised. And of course, what is considered ‘healthy’ has become completely subjective, depending who you’re talking to. Vegetarians will tell you that carbs are fine and animal products are unhealthy, Tim Noakes & his Banting followers would spontaneously combust in protest, and those following an ‘everything in moderation’ Mediterranean diet would lean back, take a sip of wine, and shake their heads sadly at the craziness. I’m definitely in the ‘everything in moderation’ camp, but if that moderation is delicious and happens to be animal or carb-free, then I’m happy to smugly take the win. This tart is fantastic, suitable for vegetarians, delicious for non-vegetarians (and those of a Mediterranean inclination) and perfect for quick entertaining. Tough luck for the Banters on this one.

Caramelised Mushroom Tart

400g porcini or brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp butter/marg
half an onion, chopped finely
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 tblsp brown sugar
sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
parmesan, to garnish
* serves 2/3

Heat the oven to 180°C. Gently unroll the puff pastry onto a lightly floured, clean surface. Turn over the all-metal frying pan that you will need for this tart, and use it as a template around which to cut the pastry. If the pastry isn’t quite wide enough, gently roll it a little thinner. Heat the olive oil and butter in the pan, gently fry the onion and sage until starting to colour, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Fry until soft, then add the balsamic vinegar and and brown sugar. Simmer until the liquid has reduced and thickened – the mixture should be sticky-ish. Lay the pastry circle on top of the mushroom mixture, and tuck the edges of the pastry down around the sides. Place the whole pan inside the preheated oven, and bake for 25min until golden brown. Place a wooden board on top of the pan, hold tightly, and flip it. If any mushrooms remain in the pan, scoop them out and add to the tart. Garnish with fresh rocket and shavings of parmesan. Serve with a side salad.

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