Mushroom, Kale, and Leek Tart

Ever since Fall's chill has creeped in, I have started craving hot foods {soup, chili, homebaked bread, and roasted veggies}.  What I love about this vegetable tart is that it is so versatile; you can use practically any vegetable you have on hand, mix in a little cheese, then pop it into the oven.  How easy is that? 

Mike and I ate this as our main course, along with a mixed green salad.  But, if you prefer, you can have this mushroom, kale, and leek tart as a side dish along with a protein, perhaps a medium-rare steak or a Thanksgiving turkey?  The tart has a wonderful, earthy flavor from the mushrooms, but also has notes of sweetness from the leek and ricotta.  I threw in some crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese to add in another layer of savoriness.  

To turn this into a quick weeknight meal, I would suggest pre-making the tart crust, then all you have to do is saute the mushrooms, leeks and kale, transfer to the blind-baked crust, then pop into the oven until warmed through.  That should turn your night into one of delicious food and gladness!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  Makes 1 tart (8 x 11 inches)

Ingredients for Mushroom, Kale, and Leek Tart

  • 2 pints of mushrooms (pick your favorite, I used baby portabellas)
  • 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 cup kale, rough cropped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 5 strands of fresh thyme
  • /4 cup gorgonzola cheese, small crumbles
  • 1/3 cup low fat ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Pastry Dough/ tart crust

  • 2.5 cups (315 grams) of All-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup ice cold water

Directions for Mushroom, Kale, and Leek Tart

  1. Pastry Dough- Place 1 cup of water in freezer to chill for 10 to 15 min.  In a large metal bowl {metal tends to keep the dough cooler than plastic or glass bowls}, whisk together dry ingredients.  Add chilled, diced butter cubes.  Use a pastry knife or 2 forks to mix together dry ingredients and butter.  The mixture should be lumpy with butter, but well coated in flour.  Start to drizzle ice cold water, 1/2 cup to start, over the flour/butter.  Ditch the pastry knife and use hands to incorporate.  Continue to add small amounts of ice cold water until dough can be held together.  Knead dough, only 4-5 turns, should still have very small pieces of visible butter.  Shape dough into round disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least one hour up to overnight, or 30 minutes in the freezer.

  2. After the tart dough is chilled, roll out into a rectangle shape just slightly larger than the tart pan (8" x 11") and about 1/8 inch thick.  Transfer the dough into the tart pan (sprayed with non-stick spray and lightly floured).  Gently press dough into the pan, trim the edges flush with the pan.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  3. Remove tart shell from the refrigerator.  Prick the bottom and sides with a fork (docking) to prevent bubbling in the crust.  Line the shell with parchment paper, then fill with baking weights or dried beans.  Bake about 15 minutes at 350 F with the weights, then carefully remove the weights and parchment.  Return shell to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 additional minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

  4. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large skillet.  Add celery, onion, and leeks.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Saute until tender.

  5. Reduce heat to low.  Add kale to the skillet and saute about 2 minutes until soft. 
  6. Add mushrooms to the pan.  Increase the heat to medium if needed.  Add the remaining salt and pepper. Add the thyme and balsamic vinegar.  Stir occasionally and cook (about 5-7 minutes) until mushrooms are browned and tender. 
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature. 
  8. Add the ricotta and gorgonzola to the cooled mushrooms, kale, and leeks.  Transfer into the pre-baked tart crust.  Loosely cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes to brown the cheese.