I was in the Picton county area last weekend and visited a mushroom farm, a very stinky mushroom farm. When I was in high school (many, many years ago) my Environmental sciences class visited a prison farm compost facility where mushrooms were grown. I remember thinking that it was pretty harsh punishment having to work in such stench. Growing mushrooms is a stinky business but the smells that will be wafting out of your kitchen after you make these Mushroom and goat's cheese tartlettes will be anything but stinky. I used fresh pie pastry in this recipe but feel free to use frozen shells or pre-baked shells. If using fresh, you will need about 1 lb of pastry and remember to prick the bottoms of the shells before baking them. If you are going to be making larger tarts or even one big tart you will probably need to blind bake them (using ceramic pie weights or beans). I love the combination of mushrooms and goat's cheese but the extra addition of dried cranberries, walnuts and fresh herbs really makes this recipe special. I used mini portabello mushrooms from Highline Farms in Wellington Ontario. This recipe will yield about 20 tartlettes.
Mushroom and goat's cheese tartlettes
Pre-baked tartlette shells
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 oz goat's cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms, garlic and salt and pepper and cook until soft. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Once the mixture has cooled off, add the herbs, goat's cheese, walnuts and cranberries and mix to combine, leaving small chunks of goat's cheese.
Spoon into the pre-baked pie shells and enjoy!