Recipe for mushroom and butternut squash roasted tart
Savory tarts can be dainty things, eaten on your finest china with a pinkie in the air.
But not this one. Loaded with roasted vegetables and cheese on a whole-grain crust, it's a hearty meal that you can eat out of hand, with your pinkie occupied by holding the slice.
It's gorgeous, too. With a mixture of velvety butternut squash, earthy mushrooms and sweet green leeks, this tart makes for an especially pretty yet satisfying vegetarian meal.
The crust is made with yeast, which is what really makes this tart rustic, rather than refined. If working with yeast makes you nervous, this recipe is a good place to begin.
The dough is so simple you can mix it by hand with a wooden spoon and then knead it for just a few minutes, until it starts to spring back when you pull it. It should be somewhat elastic but not bouncy. Think Silly Putty rather than Spaulding.
Then set the dough aside to rise. The warmer your room, the less time it will take to double in bulk. In a cold room it could take two or three hours, whereas a warm room gets the job done in half that amount of time. Or let it rise in the fridge overnight. It's a very adaptable recipe.
The whole-grain flour in the dough gives it heft, along with a gentle nuttiness. I like either whole wheat or rye flour here, but you can substitute spelt or einkorn. Just be sure to use a flour with gluten in it. In this particular recipe, gluten-free flours (brown rice, millet, oat) won't bake up as pleasingly chewy.
I've topped the tart with roasted mushrooms, leeks and winter squash.
It's important to roast the vegetables until they are almost, but not quite, caramelized. They should be pale golden at the edges and tender in the center when you pull them from the oven, but not thoroughly browned because they will continue to cook when you bake them on the crust.
You can roast the vegetables up to eight hours in advance, but the tart itself is best made within an hour or two of serving. That's when the crust is at its most crisp and the cheese still soft and oozing. That said, you can still enjoy the tart the next day, especially reheated.
Leftover and cold, eaten wrapped in a napkin on your way out the door, this robust tart can hold its own.
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Roasted Mushroom and Butternut Squash Tart
If you don't want to make your own crust, try using store-bought pie crust, then proceeding with the rest of the recipe as is.
For the crust:
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
3/4 cup whole wheat or rye flour
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
For the topping:
10 ounces oyster or other mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
Fine sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup grated white cheddar
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Fresh lemon juice, for serving
Prepare the dough: In a medium bowl, sprinkle dry yeast and sugar over ⅔ cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes, then add oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours and salt, then stir in yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is uniform and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. (Flour your hands if necessary to keep dough from sticking.) Or, if the dough seems a bit dry, add a bit more water.
Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn dough to coat it with oil, cover with a damp cloth and let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours (or longer if you kitchen is cold or drafty).
Meanwhile, prepare the topping: Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms and leeks with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread squash and mushroom mixtures out evenly on their respective pans and roast until lightly browned at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes for the mushrooms, 18 to 22 for the squash. Don't let the vegetables get too brown, because you will be cooking them again. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack and let vegetables cool. (You can roast the vegetables up to 8 hours in advance.)
Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Roll dough out on a floured surface to an 11- by 16-inch rectangle, then transfer to oiled baking sheet and press the dough out to the sides. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.
Heat oven back to 450 degrees. Spread mushroom mixture over dough, sprinkle with thyme and red pepper flakes and top with squash. Sprinkle lightly with salt, then with cheese, then drizzle with olive oil. Bake until golden brown all over, 14 to 18 minutes. Serve hot or warm, sprinkled with chives if desired and lemon juice to taste.
Source: Adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times