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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Onion-Mushroom Tart and Roasted Asparagus

Yesterday's dinner was a new recipe, which I modified from the Best of Cooking Light 13 book. (More recipes will be featured in this blog from that magazine, so keep coming back here.)  The original recipe was a simple Onion Tart, but I added garlic (because when I use onion, I need to use garlic, too!) and crimini mushrooms (also called baby 'bellas because they are actually immature portabellas.)


Onion-Mushroom Tart
Serves 6 (or cut larger pieces if you want)

This recipe looks long and difficult, but in reality it is very simple to make.  Most of the time is spent waiting for the onions to caramelize and then for the tart to bake. The only real work is slicing the onions, crushing the garlic and grating the Swiss cheese.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds onions, sliced (a blend of sweet Vidalia and sharper yellow onions is excellent)
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
8 ounces of your preferred fresh mushroom, sliced
Black pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp  of your preferred herbs (An Italian blend is nice here.  I used Penzey's Bouquet Garni.)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) crumbled Feta cheese
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) shredded Swiss cheese
1 prepared pie crust (I used a store-bought crust.)
1 egg, beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 425F. 
2.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet.  Add onions over med-high heat.  Stir/toss occasionally.
3.  When some of the onions start to brown (about 4-5 minutes), add garlic, mushrooms, pepper and herbs.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir/toss occasionally, until the onions are fully caramelized, and the mushrooms are fully cooked.  This will take 15-20 minutes.
4.  While the filling cooks, remove the pie crust and unroll it onto a sheet of parchment paper, or onto a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (spray is not needed when using parchment paper.) With a rolling pin, gently roll it out to a 12 inch diameter circle.
5.  Spread Feta over the middle of the crust, leaving about a 2 inch border without cheese.  There will not be a lot of cheese on the crust. That is okay.
6.  When the filling is done, pour over feta and spread evenly, maintaining that 2 inch border. Top evenly with the shredded Swiss.
7.  Gently fold the pie crust over the filling, making pleats as you move around the crust. You do not need to press the pleats together to make a tight seal.
8.  Brush the beaten egg over the crust.
9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (or until golden brown as above), remove from oven, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.



This was a delicious vegetarian meal, and I will make this again, but with further variations (not all changes will be in the same batch):

Bleu/Gorgonzola cheese instead of the Feta
A wedge of Laughing Cow cheese instead of the Feta
Smoked Gouda instead of the Swiss
Adding 2 ounces of wine (or beer) to the onions when I add the mushrooms (which is enough time to completely cook away, leaving all the flavor behind)
Adding sun-dried tomatoes to the filling
Adding sliced olives (probably green Spanish)
Shiitake and oyster mushrooms instead of crimini

Nutritional data, for 1/6 of the tart:
Calories:        252
Fat:               15.4g
Sat fat:            5.7g
Chol:               53mg
Sodium:         288mg
Carbs:           26.4g
Fiber:              1.5g
Protein:           5.5g

Roasted Asparagus
Served 3-4

1.5-2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced onion (I prefer to use dehydrated onion for this recipe, but fresh would work)
Black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 425F.
2.  In a 9x13 pan, lay the asparagus and drizzle the oil over it.  Top with pepper and onion.  Roast it uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
3.  Roast this at the same time you bake the tart, and they will both be done at the same time.

Nutritional data (for 1/3 of the recipe)
Calories:         130
Fat:                 9.3g
Sat Fat:           1.3g
Chol:                 0mg
Sodium:             5mg
Carbs:              10g
Fiber:                 6g
Protein:              6g

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