Aubergine, mushroom and wild garlic tarts recipe image

Print Aubergine, mushroom and wild garlic tarts

These little tarts requires a bit of preparation, but can be made in advance in a leisurely way and are definitely worth the effort. This is a vegetarian recipe that pleases even hardened carnivores as a main course. It's a great one for the early autumn months when both aubergines and mushrooms are in season. If you don't have wild garlic cook a couple of minced garlic cloves at the same time as the shallots instead.

Ingredients

  • for the shortcrust pastry:
  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Large pinch salt
  • 250g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • About 6 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • for the filling:
  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 225g mushrooms, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp white wine
  • 75ml double cream
  • 3-4 wild garlic leaves, chopped, plus a couple extra for garnish
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower

Method

  1. To make the pastry: Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process to mix together. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in enough water to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill until needed.
  3. To make the tarts: Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry quite thinly and line the tartlet tins. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake in the oven blind for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Take out of the oven, remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans or rice, then put the tartlets back in the oven for another 5 minutes to dry out. Remove again from the oven, brush the cases with a little beaten egg and bake again for 5 minutes to prevent them from going soggy.
  5. Now turn the oven down to 190°C/Gas 5. Place the whole aubergines on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until they are soft.
  6. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the shallots and crushed coriander seeds. Cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and wine and cook over a high heat for 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cream.
  7. Remove the aubergines from the oven, split them open, taking care as they will be very hot. Scoop out the flesh. Chop the flesh quite coarsely and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Combine with the mushroom mixture and wild garlic leaves. Spoon the mixture into the tartlets and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly set. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly and serve, garnished with a sprinkling of fresh wild garlic leaves if you wish.

Cooks notes

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You will need 8 x 9 inch tartlet tins to make these, or make one large one. To bake the tarts blind you will need to cover the tart with greaseproof paper then fill the cases with ceramic baking beans to weigh them down (available from your local kitchen shop, alternatively use rice or uncooked dried pulses).

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