These appetizer tarts might look fancy, but they come together quickly and easily. Puff pastry is spread with a herbed goat's cheese, baked, and then topped with a pile of oyster mushrooms sauteed in butter.
However, they did take my parents and I ten days to make them... because we grew the mushrooms at home from a kit.
I received one of these grow your own mushroom kits from Mushrooms Canada while I was attending the Food Bloggers of Canada 2013 Conference (which was ahwe-some by the way) and the kit came with a little tag on it that said 'Blog Me'.
I have to be honest, when I saw the tag I thought to myself "probably not" for a couple of reasons.
1. I am not a good gardener. Always hopeful and enthusiastic at first, then forgetful, then filled with regret as I toss yet another dead plant into the garbage.
2. I have a baking blog, so blogging about a mushroom kit didn't really seem like a good fit
3. We got a TON of swag at the conference so I wasn't even sure if a mushroom kit would make the cut of stuff I was willing to cram into my suitcase.
But the kit DID make it home and I brought it over to my parent's house (aka where I bring most of my fancy food projects. See: Cheesepalzooa) to ask if they wanted to grow the mushrooms with me. We decided to give it a try seeing as all you had to do after soaking the mushroom bag was mist the box a couple times a day.
After only a few days we had clusters of baby mushrooms.. and then overnight they would double in size, then they doubled in size again. By day ten we had a nice big cluster of oyster mushrooms to harvest. Gardening success!!
We roughly chopped up the mushrooms so that there was a combination of bigger and smaller pieces for the tarts.
My mom prepped herbs for the goat's cheese...
.. which were a combination of green onion, sage, thyme, and a little parsley. Then we mixed it all together with a few tablespoons of milk to thin it out enough to spread over the puff pastry.
The puff pastry is just the frozen kind that you roll out. If you wanted to go hard-core homemade you could grow your own mushrooms, make your own puff pastry, and spread it with homemade goat's cheese (then invite me over to share the tarts with you).
Normally I'd choose homemade over store-bought, but puff pastry is time consuming and has a bit of a learning curve for those making it at home. Seeing as we wanted this to be an easy appy, the frozen pastry was the best choice (plus it's delicious).
The half-package of puff pastry was rolled out and cut into four pieces, then the goat's cheese mixture was spread around the center of each piece. We left a border around the edge so that it would puff up and create a crust. No having to form little tarts, no fancy shapes: just cut, spread, and bake.
While the tarts were baking the mushrooms were sauteed with butter, and sprinkle of salt and pepper, and some of the extra thyme leaves.
As soon as we pulled the tarts from the oven...
...they were topped with the warm buttery mushrooms and served. So easy and so delicious!
You don't need to grow your own mushrooms to make these tarts, but I wanted to share how easy and interesting it was to own a tiny mushroom farm. The package says that we can harvest 2-3 more batches from the same box so I'm already on the lookout for more tiny mushrooms.
Herbed Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tarts
If you want to serve these as smaller appetizers to go along with drinks before dinner, then just cut the pastry into 8 pieces instead of four and slightly reduce the baking time.
1/2 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed according to the directions
125g package of plain goat cheese
2 green onions, chopped
2 fresh sage leaves, minced
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP milk
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup of chopped oyster mushrooms
2 TBSP butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Combine the goat's cheese, green onions, herbs, milk, and salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.
3. Roll out the puff pastry to a few cm thick and cut into 4 equal sized rectangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
4. Spread the goat cheese mixture on each piece of puff pastry leaving a few cm around the edge as a border. Any leftover goat cheese can be kept in the fridge and spread on toast or crackers
5. Bake the tarts for 18-20 minutes until they have puffed up and are golden brown around the edges.
6. While the tarts are baking, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and saute the mushrooms until they are soft with golden edges. When the tarts have finished baking, top with the mushrooms and serve.