Marinated Mushroom Tart

This tart is a little bit special and a really lovely way to enjoy antipasto ingredients as a meal. A flaky pastry base is topped with caramelised onion and mustard cashew cream, then baked until golden. This is the blank canvas, ready to have all the good stuff stacked on top. Marinated mushrooms are a perfect hero topping, paired with whatever else you have on hand – I went with more caramelised onion, chargrilled capsicum, dollops of basil pesto, and microgreens. Olives, tapenade, artichoke, chunks of roasted beetroot or pumpkin, and any small salad greens or fresh herbs would also work well alongside the mushrooms.

200g button mushrooms
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)

2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for half an hour
1 tbsp dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
½ cup water

2 sheets pre-rolled flaky pastry, thawed

1–2 tbsp basil pesto
caramelised onion
marinated mushrooms
chargrilled capsicum, thinly sliced

Begin by making the marinated mushrooms, so they can soak up flavour while you continue with meal prep. Halve or quarter the button mushrooms if they’re on the larger side, and remove stems if you prefer. Put the mushrooms into a large, clean jar. Put all remaining marinated mushroom ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Turn off the heat and carefully pour the hot mixture over the mushrooms, tucking the bay leaf into the jar too. Seal with a lid and set aside to cool, giving the jar a gentle turn every now and then. Once cool, store in the fridge for up to a week.

Next, make the cashew cream. Cook onions over medium heat with coconut oil, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add maple syrup and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until the onion is soft, sticky and darkly golden. Reserve about a quarter of the caramelised onion for serving the tarts, and add the rest of the onion to your blender. Add drained cashews, mustard, salt and water to the blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt or mustard to your preference.

Preheat oven to 220°C (or 200°C fanbake). Cut the pastry sheets in half so that you have four rectangles. Use a knife to lightly score a border about 1.5 cm from the edge, the whole way around each piece. Spread quarter of the cashew cream thickly on each piece of pastry, within the scored border. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

To serve, dress the tarts with the reserved caramelised onion, marinated mushrooms, thinly sliced chargrilled capsicum, little dollops of basil pesto and a scattering of microgreens. The mushroom marinade is flavourful and a little spicy, so I like to drizzle over a little extra of this liquid too.

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