Disclaimer right from the start. I recommend slow roasting the ingredients for this tart, which explains the lengthy prep time, but that is mostly unattended oven time, leaving you free to do other things.
This delicious mushroom and tomato tart came about in our home quite by accident. There were cherry tomatoes becoming wrinkly, and some fresh mushrooms sitting in the refrigerator that needed to be used. Those who know me understand by now that I hate wasting good ingredients to spoilage. But Steve was on the road, so I didn’t want to make a big meal just for me. I started opening refrigerator and freezer doors and taking inventory of the pantry. Hmmmm….what should I do?
I always have onion, garlic, fresh parsley, cream cheese, frozen puff pastry, and condiments like olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar on hand. If you don’t, I suggest you try it. The opportunity of having those ingredients on hand really expands your options when trying to think your way through to putting together a yummy meal.
So, I tried to imagine something that would leverage my stock of ingredients AND elevate the perishables to something distinctive and noteworthy. I came up with an idea for the tart topping, then roasted the ingredients, and finally stored it in the fridge until Steve came home. See, one tart is too much for me. So, I needed Steve to help consume it.
That is one of the beauties of this recipe. Make the mushroom and tomato topping in advance, put it in the fridge, and assemble the tart a day or two later. Actually, preparing the mushroom and tomato topping a day in advance makes time management a breeze when making this tart. That’s because I decided that the best flavors could be achieved by slow roasting the mushrooms and tomatoes so that the the final result would be both rich and delicate. If you want a higher oven temperature so that it cooks faster, give it a shot. But I won’t vouch for the results.
I was wowed by the flavor! Cherry tomatoes are tangy and sweet on their own. After a slow oven roast with balsamic, they are almost a delicacy. And mushrooms… Come on, people! They are so amazing just clean and raw. Chopped and roasted with herbs and some rich umami flavors, they develop a depth and boldness that is a perfect foil for the sweet tartness of the roasted tomatoes.
So, I have now set the stage. This easy mushroom and tomato tart came from humble beginnings, but it sure was not humble in flavor.
Let’s make an easy mushroom and tomato tart
As I stated before, you can make this a day or two ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator before baking the tart. So, the cream cheese and puff pastry sheet can wait until final assembly. Just make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature when it is time.
I really believe that tomatoes AND mushrooms benefit greatly from long, slow roasting in lower temps. Both seem to transform with prolonged exposure to low heat, taking on a richness of flavor from the seasoning components. So, putting both slow-roasted and seasoned components together has to be a win, right?
Pre-heat the oven to 255° F. Then season the tomatoes with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, and a bit of salt and pepper directly in an oven-safe dish. Stir to mix and coat well.
Then mix the chopped mushrooms with the onions and garlic, parsley, olive oil, and season with the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste as well. Stir to coat all of the chopped mushroom, then spread in a single layer into an oven-safe dish.
Place both baking dishes in the pre-heated oven.
Roast the mushrooms for an hour and then cool. Transfer the roasted mushrooms to a sealed container and refrigerate.
Roast the tomatoes for a total of 4 hours, shaking the dish to stir once an hour.
Four hours sounds like a long time, but you don’t want to overcook or sear the tomatoes. You want to wilt them in a steady, low heat. The balsamic vinegar and agave nectar will add a caramelized sweetness to the roast. And the olive oil will keep the tomatoes from sticking to the baking dish.
A soak of the baking dish makes cleaning a breeze.
Cool the roasted tomatoes and spoon them into the same container as the roasted mushrooms. Mix the two ingredients until they are well distributed. You want the roasted tomato and mushrooms to be a happy mixture.
Store the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to prepare the tart, or prepare the tart right away.
Roll out the puff pastry, on a lightly floured surface, until about 1/4-inch bigger on all sides.
Spread the room-temperature cream cheese on the pastry, then lightly salt.
Top with the prepared mushroom and tomato topping, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of small-chopped onion for a flavor pop.
Fold a 1-inch edge of pastry along the edges and spray the fold with an olive oil cooking spray, if desired.
Bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from the oven, lightly drizzle fresh olive oil from end to end, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Cut to desired portions and serve!
Oh, my goodness, look at that! The crust is so crispy and flaky! The filling is a rich and savory bite of sweet, earthiness, and acidity. We are talking comfort and depth of flavor that I attribute to the slow roast of the components.
People, this is a yummy tart.
It’s a brunch tart, an appetizer tart, a single portion entrée (as pictured above), possibly served with a beautiful arugula salad.
But above all, it is a really yummy tart.
So don’t let the number of steps or the amount of elapsed time scare you off. This is a simple tart to make, and an amazing one to consume.
- 6 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- 4 ounces fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, or baby bella)
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped onions, divided
- 1 medium garlic, diced
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 puff pastry sheet, 10" X 15" X ⅛"
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Olive oil cooking spray (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 255° F.
- In an oven-safe dish, dress the tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and the agave nectar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Chop the mushrooms into ¼-inch cubes and place in a bowl. Add the onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, 4 teaspoons of olive oil, the soy sauce, and the Worcestershire sauce. Stir to coat all the cubes evenly, then salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the prepared mushroom cubes into another oven safe dish, spreading in a single layer so that the chopped mushrooms roast evenly.
- Transfer both dishes to the pre-heated oven.
- Slowly roast the mushrooms until they are wilted and very aromatic, about one hour.
- Remove the mushrooms from the oven and allow to cool. Transfer to a closed container and store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the tart.
- After removing the mushrooms, shake the oven dish containing the tomatoes so that the tomatoes roll over in the pan. Continue baking until the tomatoes are wilted, the skins are broken, and everything is somewhat caramelized from the balsamic and agave (about 3 more hours). Shake the dish every hour or so to roll the roasting tomatoes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven, allow them to cool completely, then add them to the same container with the roasted mushrooms. You can assemble the tart at this time or keep the container in the refrigerator for a day or two before preparing the tart.
- To assemble the tart, pre-heat the oven to 425° F.
- Use a rolling pin to slightly stretch the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, until the rectangle is about ¼-inch larger on all sides. This helps prevent the pastry from puffing up too high while baking.
- Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment-covered sheet pan with a lip.
- Next, spread the cream cheese over the puff pastry. Sprinkle lightly with salt to season.
- Remove the mushrooms and tomatoes from the refrigerator. Stir to combine the ingredients and break up the tomatoes a bit. The mixture should look somewhat like a paste made up of coarse pieces.
- Spread the tomato and mushroom mixture evenly over the cream cheese. Sprinkle a teaspoon of finely chopped onions over the tomatoes and mushrooms.
- Fold the edges of the puff pastry by about 1 inch over the topping.
- Lightly spray the folded edges with olive oil cooking spray to enhance browning, if desired.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the folded edges of pastry are a light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, lightly drizzle with olive oil, spanning both topping and crust. Garnish with fresh parsley, cut to desired portion size, and serve warm.