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Mushroom & Spinach Tart

This tart makes great use of seasonal mushrooms - shitake ones originate from Asia but now are grown all over the world. Cèpes are abundant in France in Autumn as are girolles, so use whatever is available in season near you -  the basic button ones work too if that is all you have available locally.   

Prep: 25 mins

Cook: 45 mins

Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients

  • 250 grams of flour

  • 125 grams of butter at room temperature, cut into cubes

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 egg + 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon of flax seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

  • 2 good-sized bunches of spinach, washed and stems cut back

  • 600 grams of mushrooms just rubbed clean (Shiitake, cèpes, other)

  • 50 grams of freshly grated parmesan

  • 30cl cream

  • Salt and pepper

Method

In a bowl, mix the flour and the butter cut into cubes with your fingertips to get a shortbread consistency. Add salt and the egg. Mix until the ball of dough does not stick to the sides of the container. [Film] the ball of dough by flattening it a little on top and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

 

Flour the work surface. Place the ball of dough on the work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to 3mm thick. Delicately place this dough either in a quiche baking tin covered with baking paper or a greased non-stick one Put this base in the fridge while the oven preheats.

 

Cook the spinach leaves in a hot pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Once the spinach leaves are cooked, drain them and squeeze them well between your hands to remove almost all the water. Separate the leaves well from each other.

In another pan, brown the mushrooms in 30 grams of butter so that they become tender. Try to keep them whole (except the stem but if they are too large, cut them in half. Put them aside once cooked.

 In a bowl, beat the 4 eggs with the cream. Add salt and pepper to season.

 

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C

Take the pastry out of the fridge, put the spinach and  mushrooms in, pour over  the eggs and cream. Finish with the grated parmesan.

Bake for 45 minutes. The point of the knife should come out dry and the top should be golden.

Serve hot with a salad of young shoots or some baby roast potatoes.

Wine

Wendy thinks that if you are enjoying this for lunch with friends or a light supper then a Clairet would be lovely - darker than rosé but a reminder of the last days of Summer. Serve chilled. Sally thinks that a fresh, unoaked red (and also served just slightly chilled) such as a Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend would work too -  because the mushroom and spinach are earthy but this earthiness is balanced by the egg filling mixture & pastry.  How about the Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec blend from Château Guibeau which has no added sulphur and matured in vat rather than oak?

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