ambulance Leek and Goat Cheese Tart” src=”http://www.rootsandplatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LeekMushroomTart-300×216.jpg” alt=”Mushroom, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart” width=”300″ height=”216″ />An idea is all it takes, as long as you plant the seed so it can take root. And that’s exactly what the founders of Back to the Roots, a company providing sustainable mushroom kits, did in 2009. While sitting in class during their last semester of college, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora came across the idea of growing mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds.
I’d heard about the kits at Camp Blogaway earlier this year, but it wasn’t until the NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show that I actually got to meet Nikhil and hear more about this amazing eco-friendly venture. Not only is their story inspiring, but also their passion for giving back to the community.
Visit and like Back to the Roots on Facebook, post a picture with your growing mushroom kit and check out their school donations page to send a mushroom kit to a school of your choice. (This is a great little project for kids to teach them about sustainability!)
I encourage all of you to grow your own mushrooms at home – it’s SO much fun to watch them grow! Take advantage of this exclusive discount code (mushrooms4me10) to save 10% on Back to the Roots Mushroom Kits.
And to give you something tasty to go with all of this mushroom talk, here’s my recipe for Mushroom, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart.
Mushroom, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart
2-3 large leeks, white parts and 1-inch of the pale green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup crème fraiche*
¼ cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
½ lb. oyster, shitake or cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then add the leeks. Saute the leeks for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then add the thyme, bay leaf, vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the bay leaf and transfer the leek mixture to a large bowl. Add the crème fraiche and goat cheese to the hot leek mixture and stir to combine.
In the same large sauté pan you used to cook the leeks, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until they have released most of their liquid. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough to about 1/8-inch thick and transfer to the baking sheet. Pour the leek mixture into the center of the puff pastry and spread toward the edges, leaving about 1 inch bare around the perimeter. Top the leek mixture with the mushrooms. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling to create a simple tart, and bake until the dough is puffy and a light golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Remove tart from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
*You can usually find store bought crème fraiche, but if not, you can easily make your own at home. (For this recipe, you could also use a mixture of mascarpone cheese and plain yogurt to achieve a similar taste and consistency.)
Homemade Crème Fraiche:
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
Stir together the buttermilk and heavy cream. Cover tightly and allow to sit at room temperature or slightly warmer, shaking once or twice, for 24-48 hours. Use immediately, or store it in the fridge for up to one week.
**I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.