A few weeks ago, my dog and I visited one of our best friends in Atlanta, GA. (That’s right, my dog and I have a mutual best friend. And he’s not even a pomeranian or anything because is anyone really friends with pomeranians? They are such lone wolfs.) While we were there, we (my friend and I sans dog) met up with an old friend of mine from forever who is currently a sous chef at STG Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.
And we ate. Oh sweet goodness gracious, we ate.
Our meal started with a caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and fresh, made-earlier-that-day-by-my-friend mozzarella. Oh man. Then we moved on to more heirloom tomatoes, this time with coarse salt (we were not given weird looks for ordering even more tomatoes, nope) before moving on to our main course: a stupid delicious pizza. This pizza made me reconsider some things. Life things. Or really just these things: 1) OMG mushrooms of various kinds are my favorite mushrooms and I need more of them forever! 2) White truffle oil will always have a place in my heart (and on my breath) and finally, 3) Crust? Yeah, okay, crust can be pretty good. I’ll eat it.
Wait. What? Crust? I’m okay with crust now? I have made it clear that I have mixed feelings about pizza, what with its whole “I’m just white bread with spaghetti sauce and melted cheese on top, how you like me now” attitude but this pizza kinda rocked my emotions on the whole thing. Blame the wood fire ovens, blame the fresh dough made by my first childhood boyfriend from 5th grade (we did it all/nothing), blame the white truffle oil and mushrooms (my bet’s on that one), do whatever you need to do to rationalize this. Bottom line: this pizza was incredz. And even after the amazing trio of ice creams, I wanted more. And then more after that. And so on.
When the dog and I got back home, I was determined to make a mushroom-y tart with a “crust” I could “not be afraid of because it’s bread and carbs and I’m insane.” I got to work and, after a few tries, came up with the delicious open Mushroom and Spinach Tart. It’s the most distant of kissing-cousins to what my friend made us at STG Trattoria but the inspiration was there.
Enjoy it! And make sure you hit up STG Trattoria if you ever find yourself in Atlanta. Also, that would be an odd place to “discover” yourself but whatever, I’m not judging, I’m probably just drunk.
MUSHROOM and SPINACH TART
makes one 9.5″ tart
- 1⅛ cup of millet flour (or comparable flour of your choice)
- 4 tablespoons of very cold vegan butter
- 1 packet of Truvia
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoons grape seed or canola or vegetable oil whisked together with 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 cloves of garlic, divided and minced
- 30g red onion, sliced
- 5oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 9oz raw spinach
- ½ large tomato, cut into bite size chunks
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- a couple pinches of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
MAKE THE CRUST
Combine your flour, salt, and truvia in a large bowl. Cut in the very cold vegan butter. Once the butter is properly cut into, stir int he oil/water mixture. Knead until just smooth and combined. If it seems way too sticky, add another pinch of flour or so. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a half an hour or so while you prepare your filling.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
MAKE THE FILLING
Over medium heat, spray a large pan or wok with cooking spray. Toss the onions in there and cook until the onions are softened and starting to get a little translucent. Add one minced clove of garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the spinach and hot sauce, toss to combine with the onions and garlic, and cook until just wilted and manageable. Remove from heat.
Toss your mushroom in the emptied wok or pan. The mushrooms will cook for 5 minutes or so, softening and releasing their juices. Add in the second minced clove of garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add in the oregano, paprika, and thyme and toss. Once the mushrooms are brown and soft and juiced remove from heat. Season with a dash of salt if necessary.
Spray your tart pan (I use one with a easy release bottom) with a light coating of cooking spray.
Remove your dough from the fridge. Lay out a sheet of wax paper and lightly flour the top. Plop your dough down and roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin or between another sheet of wax paper. Once it’s rolled large enough to fit your tin, use the bottom layer wax paper to help you flip the dough into the prepared tart pan. Press evenly into the pan and up the sides.
Spoon the onion/spinach mixture into the tart pan and spread into an even layer. Top with the mushroom mixture. Scatter some tomato chunks on top.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let it cool a bit before slicing.