A Delicious Starter: Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Tart

Cool-weather entertaining calls for warm, savory fare, and this recipe for an elegant appetizer perfectly fits the bill. Impressive yet unfussy, the caramelized onion, mushroom, and goat cheese tart can be served as a starter or side. The recipe comes courtesy of Denver-based Three Tomatoes Catering, a company that has been creating creative and flavorful food and events for nearly forty years, and although it requires a few steps, it’s in fact fairly simple to execute. Here’s how to make the delicious dish at home:

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart

1 large sweet onion
16 medium shiitake mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 4-ounce package puff pastry (recommended: Dufour), defrosted according to package directions
3 eggs
8 ounces goat cheese, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut the onion into paper-thin slices, then clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and sauté until caramelized. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they release all their liquid and most of it boils away (this should take about 5 minutes). Combine the caramelized onions with the mushrooms and sauté together briefly; season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat.

Break 1 egg into a small bowl, and beat slightly. Unfold the puff pastry onto a floured surface, and roll out the dough one inch wider than the circumference of the tart pan. Lay the dough across the pan and trim the edges once you have formed the dough inside the pan. Prick the interior of pastry all over with a fork. Bake until pale gold, about 10 minutes. If pastry has puffed up inside edge, press it down gently. Set aside.

Combine the remaining eggs with 6 ounces of goat cheese and blend until smooth. Spread the mixture onto the pastry. Return to oven and bake just until set, about 4 minutes.

Add the thyme to the mushroom mixture. Remove the cheese-topped pastry from the oven and spread on the thyme-mushroom mixture. Crumble remaining cheese on top. Just before serving, broil on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tart is warm and the cheese softens.

Featured in The Scout Guide Denver, Volume 4 // Three Tomatoes Catering // Denver, Colorado // 303.433.3332

Photography by Jennifer Olson.