Botanical Inspiration

So, Jonee and I were enjoying some delicious salted organic peanuts the other night, when I realized I didn't know if Peanuts came from a tree, or a bush, or we looked it up on the interweb...and found the pretty little illustration up above.

I love Botanical Illustrations to bits...and finding this one, reminded me of a gorgeous article on Victorian Styled Botanical-inspired recipes in the latest Martha Stewart Living....I'm thinking of doing this for Thanksgiving.


Serves 8 to 10

* 1 disk Pate Brisee
* All-purpose flour, for surface
* 7 large shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed
* 2 spring onions or scallions
* 1 Trumpet Royale mushroom
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* Salt
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 fennel bulb, chopped, fronds reserved
* 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 ounce)
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in middle, and another just below it. Turn out pate brisee onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough into a 10-by-13-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Press dough into bottom and up sides of an 8-by-11-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a paring knife, trim excess dough from sides. Transfer to freezer, and chill for 20 minutes.
2. Prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on middle rack until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights. Bake until bottom of tart shell is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.
3. Meanwhile, slice 2 shiitake mushrooms, 1 onion, and the Trumpet Royale mushroom 1/4 inch thick. Transfer sliced mushrooms and onion to a baking sheet; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast on bottom rack until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Chop remaining onion (white part only). Heat butter in medium high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and chopped fennel, stirring frequently, until onion starts to caramelize, about 15 minutes; season with salt. Chop remaining 5 shiitake mushrooms, and add to skillet. Cook until mushrooms release their juice and the mixture is soft and caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. Puree mixture in a food processor until smooth; transfer to a bowl.
5. Puree cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a clean food processor until smooth. Spread fennel-mushroom puree over bottom of tart shell. Gently spread cream cheese filling over top of puree, making sure they don't blend together. Arrange roasted mushrooms and onion on top, and scatter a few fennel fronds over tart. Transfer tart pan to a baking sheet, and bake until filling is set and crust is slightly puffed but not golden, 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool.

Read more at Fungus Tart
- Martha Stewart Recipes

No comments: