Mushrooom, Walnut and Goat Cheese Tart


The first recipe up for DC Meat-Free week is this luscious tart/pie. The toasty walnut topping gives way to the creamy goat cheese, caramelized onions and tender mushrooms inside. The lemon zest and lemon juice at a bright finish which keeps it from being to heavy or rich. I promise, if you like mushrooms, you'll love this.

1 recipe your favorite short crust dough, or a pre-bought pie crust
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 pound mushrooms sliced, white, cremini, or portobellos or a combination
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
3 eggs, beaten
8 ounces mild goat cheese, softened - Our Allegheny Chevre from Firefly Farms is perfect here
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prick the pie crust (homemade or storebought) and then cover with parchment paper and baking beans . Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven, take out the paper and the beans and return to the oven to cook for another 5 minutes. This process is called "pre-baking the shell" so that it won't go all soggy when you put in the wet ingredients. You can make the crust ahead of time up to this point.

When ready to cook the tart, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are doing this right after pre-baking the crust, just leave it on at 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion, then the garlic, and saute for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Stir in the rosemary. Add the mushrooms, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper and saute over medium high heat for five minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the juices have evaporated. Let this mixture cool slightly.

Put the eggs and half the goat cheese in a bowl, beat them well with a rubber spatula, then stir in the mushroom mixture. Season well. Pour into the baked tart crust and spread evenly. Crumble the remaining goat cheese and dot all over the top of the tart. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until set and golden on top. You might have to lay a piece of parchment paper over the top so that the nuts don't burn in the last 10 minutes.

Serves 6