Make sure you caramelise the mushrooms lovingly, so those gorgeous nutty flavours really sing. This mushroom base is brilliant in omelettes and quiches, or over toast.
In my opinion, there’s no better way to eat mushrooms than like this.
- 6–8 sheets ready-made filo pastry, cut into 13 cm (5 inch) squares
- 100 g (3½ oz) butter, melted
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) mixed mushrooms (Swiss browns/cremini, regular buttons, enoki & king oysters are some more common ones)
- 70 g (2½ oz) butter
- dash of olive oil
- 12 sprigs of thyme
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
- 90 g (3¼ oz) hazelnuts, roasted & roughly chopped (see first paragraph of Basic Nut Praline method on page 100)
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
- 375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) crème fraîche
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp chopped chives
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan-forced.
To make the tart shells, brush 8–10 layers of the square pieces of filo with butter, and overlap them on one another so that they form a rough circle, then press into the hole of a standard muffin tin. Make four to six of these. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filo is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the mushrooms with half the butter, the olive oil and thyme in a stainless-steel frying pan over medium–high heat, and sauté about 1 minute or until golden. Add the garlic and hazelnuts, and continue cooking the mushrooms until they are nice and brown. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. Add the parsley, and toss to combine.
To serve, warm the tart shells in a 100°C (200°F) fan-forced oven for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pile each one high with the mushrooms. Season the crème fraîche with salt and pepper before dolloping on each tart and finishing with a sprinkling of chives.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.