Saturday Bri and Beth came for dinner. I had to cater to one vegetarian and a pregnant lady (not me) who has an aversion to tomato sauce.
After some consultation with Jenna (another food lover who was planning her own dinner), I decided on butternut squash soup, a wild mushroom and gruyere tart with herb salad. Oh, and Beth brought over the most delicious shortbread and chocolate chip squares.
Thank you Bon Appetite for the tart recipe!
Butternut squash soup:
1 Butternut squash
1 Onion, chopped
2 Celery stalks, chopped
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 Tbs of butter
1 Pear, chopped
4 Cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Pierce squash all over and place in dish with about a little water flesh side down and bake for about 40 minutes or until flesh is soft.
Meanwhile, cook onion and celery and nutmeg in olive oil and butter until onion is slightly brown. Add squash and pear to onion mixture and about vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer until pear in soft. Puree and serve.
The funny thing is I had one more vegetable in the soup but I don’t know what it was! I thought I was buying celery root but as I cut it up I realized the texture was off and once I tasted it I really knew it was something else. I still have no clue.
For the Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Tart:
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg yolk
2 Tsp plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup of sour cream
1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, oyster, or stemmed shiitake), sliced
2 Tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs butter
1 ½ Cups of green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1 Sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 Large egg yolk, beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
4 ounces thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
6 Tbs fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/3 Cup 1/2-inch pieces fresh chives
3 Tbs fresh tarragon leaves
1 Bunch of Arugula
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tsp fresh lemon juice
Puree ricotta in processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1 yolk and 2 teaspoons oil and blend. Transfer ricotta mixture to bowl; fold in crème fraîche.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté 7 minutes. Mix in thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add butter and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Mix in green onions.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 13x9-inch rectangle. Using sharp knife and starting 1/4 inch in from edge, cut score line around entire perimeter of dough, cutting halfway through. Brush 1/4-inch dough border with glaze. Transfer dough to ungreased heavy baking sheet. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, inside border. Top with half of mushrooms, half of Gruyère, then remaining mushrooms and Gruyère. Bake tart until crust is golden and Gruyère melts, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare salad:
Toss herbs with oil and lemon juice in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut tart into rectangles. Transfer to plates. Garnish with herb salad.