Wild garlic & mushroom tart with wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic season is in full swing and I am taking every opportunity I can get to use this delicious, flavoursome herb to enhance a range of Spring recipes. Wild garlic pesto is quick and easy to make and tastes sensational with some fresh tagliatelle and a grating of Parmesan.  Wild garlic leaves can be chopped over salads or soups, added to omelettes and sauces, layered with potatoes to make gratin dauphinois or used as a seasonal alternative to garlic cloves.

Makes 6 shallow (starter size) tartlets / 4 deep (main course size) tartlets

Pastry cases

  • 175g plain flour
  • 115g salted, cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp milk
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Filling

  • 75g wild garlic leaves (stalks removed)
  • a knob of butter
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g ripe Camembert cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100ml double cream
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pesto

  • 100g wild garlic leaves
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 100g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • mild olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • - For the pesto, blitz the wild garlic leaves, Parmesan and toasted hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped
  • - With the blade still turning, slowly add the oil until the required consistency is achieved – thicker is better for this recipe (thinner is better if you were using it to make a pasta sauce, for example)
  • - Add lemon juice and plenty of seasoning to taste
  • - Transfer to the fridge – the flavours will intensify so it’s a good idea to make this a few hours in advance
  • - For the pastry cases, place all the pastry ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the dough starts to come together
  • - Knead briefly on a floured surface, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
  • - Roll out the pastry thinly on a floured surface and use it to line 6 loose-bottomed, shallow (2cm high) individual tart tins or 4 deep (3 cm high) individual tart tins, easing the pastry down into the corners to prevent shrinking
  • - Chill the pastry cases in the fridge for 10 minutes
  • - Preheat oven to 190C / Gas mark 5
  • - Prick the bases all over with a fork and bake blind (by lining the pastry cases with greaseproof paper and filling with baking beans) for 10 minutes
  • - Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans then return the pastry cases to the oven for a further 3 minutes until the base is cooked through
  • - Reduce the oven temperature to 180C / Gas mark 4
  • - Melt the butter in a pan then cook the sliced mushrooms over a medium heat until softened and starting to brown. Allow to cool then strain away the cooking liquid to prevent the tartlet filling becoming too watery
  • - Beat together the eggs, extra egg yolk and cream
  • - Cut the Camembert into small pieces and stir into the cream mixture
  • - Gather up the wild garlic leaves into a cluster and slice finely then add the shredded leaves to the cream mixture, followed by the cooked mushrooms
  • - Season to taste then divide the mixture between the tart cases
  • - Bake for 10-15 minutes (shallow tartlets) or 15-20 minutes (deep tartlets) until the mixture is set and the tartlets are turning golden brown on top
  • - Serve warm with a spoonful of wild garlic pesto on top and garnished with a wild garlic flower
  • - If making in advance, reduce the cooking time slightly, cool then chill.  The tartlets can then be reheated at 130C for 10 minutes

 

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