Arugula Pesto, Prosciutto & Mushrooms Open Tart is my light version of pizza which was a delicious highlight at our Mushroom Fête dinner with friends recently. To save time I always get store-bought puff pastry and make my own pesto in advance. Bake the pastry to golden perfection, then smear the top with pesto, scatter with baby greens such as arugula or kale, slices of savory prosciutto and seared gourmet mushrooms.For this tart, I usually buy “Chef’s Sampler” mushrooms from Mycopia brand available at Whole Foods stores. The 8-ounces package contains neatly arranged Alba and Brown Clamshell varieties, Forest Nameko, Velvet Pioppini and Trumpet Royal mushrooms in it. All these mushrooms need is to be well seasoned and quickly sear in some olive oil. But slice meaty Trumpet Royal mushrooms lengthwise and sear them as well in a hot pan separately, until golden brown. The size, texture and taste of these mushrooms really make this open tart ROCK! Sprinkle it lightly with some Parmigiano and bake in the oven until cheese starts to melt.
What I really love about this tart is that it is very versatile! Vegetarian?-no worries, skip the prosciutto all together and keep just the mushrooms instead. Have your own spin on it by adding some seared cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes or roasted red bell peppers as well. Serve this Arugula Pesto, Prosciutto & Mushrooms Open Tart with good chilled white wine and some extra sprinkle of cheese on top.
Ingredients: all-butter puff pastry, assortment of gourmet mushrooms, Prosciutto di Parma, egg yolk, macadamia nut or vegetable oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes.
For this recipe, I used Alba and Brown Clamshell mushroom varieties, which have a wonderful crunchy texture and mild seafood taste, whereas Forest Nameko with its glossy mushroom caps has a slightly fruity forest flavors. But my personal favorite- Trumpet Royal. It has a firm, meaty texture and wonderful nutty profile.
Arugula Pesto : baby arugula or baby kale, garlic cloves, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, extra-virgin olive oil (sweet, not peppery), lemon juice, sea salt.
Cut Trumpet Royal mushrooms in 3 slices each lengthwise, sear for 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel, it will absorb some of the oil.
Working in batches (try not to overcrowd the pan so that the mushrooms don’t steam), sear the mushrooms ( Alba and Brown Clamshell, Velvet Pioppini and Forest Nameko varieties) in a pan on medium-high heat in some oil and seasoned well for about 4-5 minutes, until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
Puff pastry: Preheat the oven to 395 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. According to the packaging directions, if required, roll out the pastry slightly on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and prick the pastry all over with a fork. Lay another sheet of parchment paper on the puff pastry and place a second baking sheet on top, bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Remove the top sheet and discard the paper, bake for 5 minutes more or until crisp and dry. Cool slightly.
Assemble: Spread arugula pesto over the pastry, leaving a ½ inch border.
Scatter some baby arugula and/or baby kale leaves on top. Tear the prosciutto into bite size pieces and lay over the tart.
Scatter seared mushrooms in between prosciutto pieces and sprinkle generously with the remaining cheese. For some extra kick, add just a pinch of red pepper flakes on top.
Lightly beat egg yolk and use it to brush the pastry border. Bake for 5-8 minutes until the cheese melts.