An interesting aspect of this rustic, tender-crusted tart, is the smooth tofu-spinach spread seasoned with fresh herbs and minced aromatics. This spread serves to complement the mix of portobello and cremini mushrooms sautéed with fresh garlic until their natural juices are released. The fresh fragrance of thyme is also part of the refinement that adds complexity and texture to this savoury tart.
Cooking is rewarding craft, one that anyone can learn and even succeed at from the get-go. There’s a delight in cooking: the wonder of creating, the pleasure of time spent in the honest pursuit of tradition and nourishment of our bodies and those of our family. Recipes combine a number of ingredients using a given set of techniques. The other factor is the language used in explaining the recipe’s procedure. As you gain in experience and confidence you will begin creating your own variations, making it easy to change the way you cook and eat: inspiring you to create delicious meals that will make you feel fantastic! These variations may be spicy, more elaborate, faster, or with completely different flavours but identical techniques. Also see Puff Pastry with Fennel and Greens.
Spinach and Mushroom Tart (Vegan)
A rustic, tender-crusted, savoury tart!
- 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced into long pieces, stems and black gills removed
- 6 – 8 cremini mushrooms
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 – 6 cups spinach, tightly packed
- 1 cup firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons green onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon pecans, chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 x 500g pack vegan puff pastry
STEP 1 Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add 1 garlic clove, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, season to taste with sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 – 20 minutes, until the mushrooms release their juices and the juices evaporate. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle with thyme, and set aside.
STEP 2 Steam the spinach lightly, for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until partially wilted. Leave to cool.
STEP 3 Place the tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, 1½ teaspoons olive oil, 1 garlic clove, green onion, and pecans in a food processor, and process until fairly smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 2/3 of the steamed spinach and fold in by hand.
STEP 4 Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a rectangle and transfer to the baking sheet. Spread the spinach-tofu mixture over leaving a 1-inch border around the edge for it to puff up during baking. Top with the sautéed mushrooms and additional spinach.
STEP 5 Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry are flaky and just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let set for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for Serving
Cut this dish into bite-sized pieces for an appetizer to serve many, or pair it with a big salad for a light dinner.