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mushroom walnut pesto tart

I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. For the month of November, I’m going to post every day. This is day 4. 

This vegan experiment we’re on has been bolstered by some great new vegan cookbooks. I know I’ve already spoken about Angela Liddon and her Oh She Glows cookbook, but I’m going to do it again. This girl knows how to cook vegan food! I’ve probably made more recipes from this cookbook than from any other cookbook I own. I guess I extoll it’s wonders a lot, so forgive me if you’ve already heard the pitch.*

This past week I made three recipes from or inspired by the Oh She Glows cookbook. No joke. I’d say that since discovering Angela’s blog a few years ago, I have probably made almost one thing a week inspired by a recipe, technique, or flavor combination that Angela has written about. I found her recipes especially helpful when I was first learning how to remove dairy from my diet.

Whenever we’re in a rut, unsure of what to make, or want to try a new or different flavor combination, we’ll leaf through the book, admiring all the beautiful photos. A rainy/snowy/sleety weekend called for a day in the kitchen and the mushroom-walnut pesto tart was one of the recipes we cranked out.

This was my first time ever using phyllo dough. I’m not sure why I’ve never used it before; perhaps it seemed too fancy, difficult and intimidating to create all those lovely golden flaky layers. I don’t know what I was afraid of – as it wasn’t difficult at all, especially when Mike and I worked together. Now fancy flaky dishes can enter into our regular rotation {evil laugh}!

I followed the recipe pretty faithfully, with only a few small variations. This was a perfect accompaniment to soup for a warming dinner on a cold night. It could also be made ahead and cooked just when guests arrive, if you really want to impress the crowd.

Mushroom Walnut Tart

Mushroom-Walnut Pesto Tart
from the Oh She Glows cookbook
serves 6-8 as appetizer, 4 as meal with side salad or soup

Mushroom Filling
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 c. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thinly

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Concurrently, in another medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
4. Set mushrooms and onions aside when finished.

Walnut Pesto
1 clove garlic
2/3 c. toasted walnuts
1 c. packed fresh parsley, large stems removed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

5. In a food processor pulse garlic to finely chop it. Add walnuts, parsley, oil, salt, pepper, 1/2 c. sautéed mushrooms, and 1 Tbsp. water to food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed.

Dough
7-8 sheets frozen vegan phyllo dough, thawed
olive oil for brushing the dough

6. Assemble the tart. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the prepared baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush on some olive oil. Place another sheet of dough directly on top of the first, and brush with oil. Repeat with the remaining 5-6 sheets of phyllo dough (layer, brush with oil, layer, brush with oil, etc.)
7. Fold the edges of the doug in about 1 inch on all sides, to create a crust, pressing down on sides and folding in corners. Brush with oil if it’s not sticking.
8. Use a fork to poke holes into the phyllo dough base to allow steam to escape while cooking.
9. Gently spread the walnut pesto in an even layer over the dough, avoiding the folded borders.
10. Add the sautéed mushrooms and onions on top of the pesto base, distributing evenly. This part was like topping a pizza.
11. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until lightly golden (start watching it after 25 minutes).
12. For a really golden edge you can broil for 1-2 minutes after it is done baking.
13. Let cool for 5 minutes. Slice with a pizza slicer and serve immediately.

Leftovers store nicely in the refrigerator and heat up in the toaster oven in just a few minutes. Yum!

*Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this post and am reviewing this cookbook of my own accord.

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