Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Onion Mushroom Tart

Every few weekends, we skip the usual grocery run. It is one of those small things that significantly reduces food waste by giving us opportunity to "eat down" the food stash and forces us to use up every last bit of produce. The bonus is that we have one less errand to do and a couple more hours to laze about, always a good thing.

It is a bit of a game for me to look around the kitchen and say, "How many meals can I make from the food that we already have"? I am always amazed at how food can be creatively stretched and how even vegetables that are past their prime can be eaten up instead of being tossed out. A few onions were just starting to get a little old, so I caramelized them and made a modified pizza for a tasty Sunday night supper.

The pizza crust is essentially the same recipe I have posted before but now that I own a lifetime supply of instant yeast (a one lb bag), the first proofing step is unnecessary. This dough is kneaded entirely in the food processor.

Onion Mushroom Tart


1. Pizza dough (start this step 3-4 hours of time)
In a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade, add
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Pulse to combine. Then, with the motor running, feed in 1 tbsp. olive oiland drizzle in warm water (half cup or a little more as needed) to make a soft elastic dough. Place it in an oiled bowl, cover it and let it rise for 2-3 hours.

2. Make the topping:
-Saute 3-4 thinly sliced medium onions in olive oil for 30-35 minutes over medium-low heat until they are beautifully caramelized.
-Add 4 cups diced cremini mushrooms, dried oregano, dried thyme, red peper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and continue to saute until the mixture is quite dry.
-In the last few minutes of cooking, stir in 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
-Turn off the heat and stir in a handful of coarsely chopped olives. Let the topping cool down.

3. To make the tart: Preheat oven to 475F.

4. Grease a rectangular 11x17 inch (or so) sheet pan very well with olive oil. Place the risen dough on the pan and spread it to fill the entire pan in a single layer. You may have to pause intermittenly to allow the dough to rest so it can be rolled out well.

5. Spread the topping in an even layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is done and the cheese is bubbling. Cut in squares and serve right away.

The flavors of the sweet smoky onions, juicy mushrooms, salty olives against the crunch of the freshly baked crust were simply irresistible.

Cut into diagonal strips, this tart would be a lovely appetizer. The filling is very versatile, and could be used as a sandwich spread, or in a festive puff pastry braid like this one.

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  1. wonderful tart.... i can have this and not go grocery shopping any day!

  2. The tart looks so delicious! I have a lot of stuff lying around in the pantry too- great idea to skip the store and use the ingredients at home.
    I just tried your baked green beans recipe yesterday and loved it!Thanks.

  3. Love mushrooms. Lovely looking tart.

  4. looks delicious. No one would say it is a clean the pantry activity that resulted in this tasty creation.

  5. i love tarts and this one seems heavenly with mushrooms,cheese and olives. Yummy!

  6. Nupur, Every time I think of skipping a grocery run and just making something out of what we have left, I think of you because you've talked about this previously. My husband hates this practice, because he's from Norway where it's so cold and generations have gotten used to storing food for months. I mean, I've never been anywhere in the world where I've seen so many pantries so full all of the time. Anyway, this pizza looks great. Nice, creative approach to using what's left in the house (though it seems you actually had a good stash...) Cheers, m

  7. Looks great Nupur. Have to try soon

  8. simple tart..wonder whether i can make this with dried mushrooms..i have a big bag full of that and onions are always there..so it will be a great dinner recipe when i run ot of other things :)

  9. I too am amazed at what I can come up with when I feel there is so little in my cupboard because I have not been out to the shops - onions are always a good one to linger ready for use - caramelising them is a great way to get more taste from them

  10. delicious... love mushrooms and always looking for new mushroom recipes... mill bookmark this.

  11. I "cook down my pantry" every Sunday, combining the bits of leftovers from the week's meals with pantry staples. It's fun, challenging, and satisfying to know that my improvisational cooking skills are up to the task!

  12. Tart looks delicious. I also bought more than a lifetime supply of yeast and have to start using it before it expires on me.

  13. "The flavors of the sweet smoky onions, juicy mushrooms, salty olives against the crunch of the freshly baked crust were simply irresistible."

    That made me hungry. Looks yummy.

  14. Lovely... I made something very similar a while ago. :)


    It is fun to just make do with what you've got :)

  15. The tart looks delicious..I love the combination of onions and mushrooms for the topping.

  16. I also try not to waste any food items but this idea of 'cook down the pantry' is good.
    mushroom is my alltime favorite and combined with cheese sounds awesome.

  17. these looks good and I/my daughter love mushroom...
    even i try to use upto the last thing in my pantry ...and yeah sometimes skiping grocery shopping gives ample amount of time to do other things :)....I am going to check the pizza dough recipe also ..
    hugs and smiles

  18. Mallugirl- Me too, does not take much convincing to get me to skip errands ;)

    Sapna and Shridhar- I'm glad the green beans recipe worked for you!

    Soma- Thank you!

    Indosungod- Just goes to show that my pantry is overstocked to begin with ;)

    Preeti Kashyap- It did taste pretty good :)

    Mari- I guess it really is a cultural thing! With me, I feel really guilty whenever I feel like there's too much food in the house; I need to pare it down!

    Shilpa- And I have to try that amazing spinach kofta biryani you posted!!

    Superchef- Dried mushrooms would taste fine but may not have the same bulk as fresh mushrooms so you could add other vegetables as well. I love using dried mushrooms in a creamy pasta sauce :)

    Johanna- Yes, our pantries are better stocked than we imagine, and onions can always be the basis of a tasty meal!

    myspicykitchen- I'm glad you like it.

    Lydia- That's exactly it- I love to hone my improvisational cooking skills!

    Pavani- I'm put my yeast in the fridge and am hoping it lasts me a few years :)

    Bharti- Thanks :)

    Raaga- Yes, more fun for me than a planned recipe!

    Supriya- I love that combination very much too :)

    Sayantani- We are a family of mushroom lovers too.

    Jaya- Thanks!

  19. Where do you get 1 lb of instant yeast? My grocery store just has these little packets, usually on the topmost shelf of the aisle.
    Is the yeast in the bulk bins at Whole Foods the same? I got some not too long ago from there - it was kind of a flaky type. I didn't get a pound, thankfully, because it didn't seem to work. I thought it had gone bad or something, and trashed the whole thing. I didn't feel so bad since it wasn't too expensive and definitely cheaper than the little packets!

  20. Wow! This sounds fantastic. So you're a talented knitter and a fab chef! :)

  21. Anonymous- oh let me try and clear up that confusion: The 1 lb instant yeast I am talking about is the same stuff as in the little packets, only packaged in bulk for people who use it often (buying in bulk means that it is cheaper). I found it in Whole Foods. That package looks like this picture:

    Now the one (flaky type) that you got from the bulk bin is called nutritional yeast and is not live/active and will NOT work for doughs. It is used in recipes to give a cheesy savory flavor. You need not have trashed it, you could have cooked with it. Read more about it here:

  22. Nupur, The tart looks yum! What food processor do you use to knead the dough? Does it also work for chapati/roti dough? Please do reply. Love your blog. Keep up the good work. -Nandini

  23. the website stilltasty.com has info on what you can use beyond use by date, and what items should be tossed, even info on produce etc that doesnt hv expiry dates..
    thought this wld be useful to all.

    i think i came to know of this site in some magazine.

  24. I just tried out this tart/pizza. I used some raw red and green bell peppers, a little bit of raw onion and pickled yellow pepper too on it. I skipped the pepper flakes, vinegar and olives. It made a great dinner. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Hey Nupur, I landed on your blog during an online search for Chivda :-) Lovely blog you got in here. I will be visiting often :-)

  26. Hey Nupur -- leaving a comment on your space after a long time. Thanks for treating me to see this wonderful tart picture and for the appetizer idea. Inorder to make this tart really tarty, I am thinking of adding sun dried tomatoes into the mix.

  27. Looks like a very tasty tart Nupur!


  28. Holly- Welcome to my blog :) No fab chef here, just someone who is a little bit food crazy ;)

    Nandini- My food processor is a Kitchenaid 9-cup KFP740. Yes, it works well for chapati dough too.

    Bee- Thanks.

    Nikita- I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Shobha- Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it!

    GaramMasala- Yes, it can be modified any way you like, sun-dried tomatoes would be great as a topping.

    Bruno- Thanks :)

  29. Nupur, I would never have thought to add balsamic and olives like that -- sounds and looks amazing :)

    I try to finish up the (ahem) mature produce too -- but I'm not nearly as creative about it! My veggies nearly always end up in soup :)

  30. Love love love this recipe - such a fabulous idea! thanks


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