“Morel Season has started and we are having a Morel Recipe Challenge…We’ll send you some dried morels, you create a recipe and then the winner gets 4 lbs. of fresh morels!” a recent e-mail from Matt Holmes at Marx Foods read.
I couldn’t possibly believe it–free earthy, warm, rustic dried morels under the request that I make an hors d’oeuvre recipe for Marx Foods? AND, the possibility of 4 lbs more fresh morels if my recipe is chosen? How could I say no to such an incredible offer?! Morel season isn’t every season and this was one of those precious food blogging moments we at home cooks look forward to once in a blue moon.
Pictured: my sample of Marx Foods dried Morels (about 2-4 ounces)
Marx Foods is a fantastic website. Traditionally, Marx Foods supplies specialty items to some of the world’s top 400 restaurant chefs as a “high-end restaurant distributor”; today, these same food items are available to some of the world’s best at-home cooks through their snazzy website. Foods are categorized according to meats, seafoods, and pastas, and even the strangest of items–kangaroo, edible flowers, truffles, and yes, morels, also receive their own categories. Although many items may cost you a pretty penny at Marx Foods, they have an unreal Sale Section with which you may wish to start.
For the last three years, Marx Foods has put together the Marx Foods Morel Recipe Challenge and generated some amazing online recipes.
Needless to say, I was pleased to be one of them.
For this particular recipe challenge, I hummed and hawed about possible morel options–Ricotta Stuffed Dates with Buttery Morels?
Mmmm…maybe too sweet.
His & Her’s appetizers where cherry tomatoes are stuffed with Morels & Parmesan, & Morels are stuffed with Parmesan and Cherry Tomatoes?
Too much work.
I wanted an hors d’oeuvre that would look as good as it tasted and get away from the fussy requirements of pretty plated small calorie concoctions. I wanted a morel hors d’oeuvre that was seemingly stream-lined, easy, and embraced the natural earthy flavors of the morels themselves.
Of course–a rustic morel tart meant to serve a whole party!
For my Clearly Delicious spin on a down-to-earth appetizer (just like these Morels), check-out an easy, buttery, Rustic Morel Party Tart with fresh Parmesan, herbs de Provence, and Walnut-Infused Olive Oil from France. The ingredients may be fussy, but the dish certainly is not. In fact, many of these ingredients make for an earthy appetizer that is decadent, and perfect in small 1-inch strips for a party of a dozen people.
Rustic Morel Party Tart
This recipe is an original earthy morel (mushroom) rustic tart recipe. It calls for a standard All Butter Pie Crust dough and has a delicious, creamy, cheesy, and earthy filling.
* 1 serving All Butter Pie Crust
* 4 ounces Dried Morels
* 2 tablespoons Butter
* 2 tablespoons French Walnut-Infused Olive Oil from Fioré
* 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
* 1 cup cream
* 3/4 cup Parmesan
* small handful Gorgonzola cheese (really, just a hint of this cheese)
* 1/2 lemon, juiced (1/8 cup lemon juice)
* 1 egg, beaten
* 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
* 2 shallots, chopped fine
* Salt & pepper, to taste
* 1 teaspoon thyme
1.) Begin by reconstituting your dried morels. Add morels to a heat-safe bowl (one that can handle boiling water) and cover in boiling water.
2.) Allow to sit for 20 minutes, or until morels have tripled in size. Roll out pastry on a well floured surface and add to your tart pan.
3.) Meanwhile, prep your other fresh ingredients: peel garlic and reserve for pressing, or mince if not using a garlic press. Chop parsley, juice 1/2 lemon, and measure out seasonings. Have Parmesan, Egg, Gorgonzola, and Cream ready to go for wet mixture.
4.) Once morels have been reconstituted, drain thoroughly.
5.) In a non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons Walnut Infused Olive Oil (I love the rustic, walnuty hint that this oil adds to a dish. You can use regular olive oil here if you prefer it, but the infused variation compliments the morels nicely). Melt down butter.
6.) Add garlic, chopped shallots, 1/2 of the parsley, and morels. Mix to integrate and sauté on medium-high until morels have darkened in color (about 6-8 minutes).
7.) While morels are cooking, prepare wet mixture: add beaten egg, cream, parmesan, small amount of gorgonzola, lemon juice, and the rest of the parsley. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix to integrate.
8.) When morels are done, remove from heat and add to wet mixture. Mix to incorporate. Season with a small amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper.
9.) Pour wet mixture into pastry shell and bake in 350F oven for 35-40 minutes.
10.) Remove for oven and allow tart to rest for at least five minutes, but up to 10.
11.) Cut tart into bit-size pieces for your guests, and enjoy! Makes 12 servings.
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Written by: Helana Brigman