Mar 28, 2016

Leek and wild mushroom tart with cashew cream

Mushroom leek tartIt’s not often that a gluten-free, vegan recipe can completely win over every meat eater in the room, but this savory tart does it, thanks to a crunchy chickpea flour crust, a rich cashew cream filling and a savory vegetable topping.

My original version of the tart was topped with caramelized onions and greens. I’ve got to thank Dani of the blog Just Kale Me Now for coming up with the idea of using mushrooms and leeks instead. I made Dani’s version today, changing only the variety of mushrooms used, and it was perfect for the Easter lunch at my friends’ place. (Thank you Robyn and Elisabeth for letting me barge in and start taking photos before we sat down to eat!)

You could use any combination of mushrooms, but I love a mix of oyster, shiitake and maitake mushrooms. Not a mushroom fan? No worries, this tart is very versatile – whatever vegetables you want to top it with will probably taste great. Asparagus and red peppers…zucchini and sun dried tomatoes…use your imagination. Just be sure to include onions or leeks, I think the allium family is key. (Isn’t it always?)

Leek and Wild Mushroom Tart with Cashew Cream

For the cashew cream:

3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water for 6-8 hrs, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup water

For the leek and mushroom topping:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced (2 leeks if they are huge with lots of white)
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

For the crust:

1 3/4 c. chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. cold water

Puree all of the cashew cream ingredients in a food processor until very smooth and thick. This will take up to five minutes, and may require scraping down the sides of the processor. If the mixture seems to dry to become creamy, add one or two teaspoons of water as needed.

For the vegetables, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cook the leeks and a pinch of salt over low heat for 7-10 minutes, until soft but not browned. Remove to a bowl.

Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan, increase the heat to medium and add the mushrooms along with another pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid has cooked off. Combine with the leeks.

To make the dough, mix the chickpea flour, salt and thyme. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour mixture and work together with your hands until crumbly. Add the water and mix very briefly, just until dough comes together.

Flatten the dough into a disk on a floured work surface (I used all purpose flour for the work surface, but you can use a gluten-free flour.) Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your tart pan.

Loosen the dough by slipping a pastry lifter or metal spatula underneath. Fold in half and carefully transfer to a fluted metal tart pan, pressing it into the bottom and sides. If the dough breaks, don’t worry – you can easily piece it together in the pan.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the crust lightly with foil (don’t press), add some dried beans or pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Top the partially-baked crust with the cashew cream, then the leek and mushroom mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

See more recipes: Entrees, Gluten-free, Vegan


  • Teal

    Thank you! I am on a leek kick right now and this looks great! Still have to make the lintzer cookies!

  • Teal

    I made this last night – overall a success. Leeks and mushrooms really compliment each other. I cheated on the cashews and only soaked them an hour but the VITAMIX did the job anyway. My only concern is crust – love the chick pea flour but crust was too hard. Add more water next time – or don’t do the 10 minute crust cook?

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Hmm, I liked the crunchiness of the crust. Maybe try just not doing the 10 minute pre-cooking next time!

  • What a simple recipe. I never thought of tarts as being savory, but this is a good idea! I pinned for later. Thanks so much

  • Oooh cashew cream sounds super delicious! I love any kinds of mushroom based dishes so this is definitely something I’ll have to make. Thanks for the recipe 😀

  • Martin Hoffman

    I made this for a vegan potluck on Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! I doubled the recipe with the intention of making two tarts, however I only had one tart pan at my disposal and didn’t have enough time to cook one tart after the other, so I decided to use all the ingredients in a single tart and it turned out great in this deep-dish style. Also, I pressed all the dough into the pan rather than rolling it out first and it came out nicely, with a good texture and thickness. Thanks for this recipe, Cathy, I will definitely be making it part of my repertoire!

  • Martin Hoffman

    PS: I didn’t read the part about soaking the cashews till the last minute, so I didn’t have time to soak them at all, however running them at medium speed in the Vitamix for five minutes made them perfectly smooth and creamy.

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