A Meatless Monday home-run!

a photograph of Finnish chanterelles (suomenlainen kantarelli)
Finnish chanterelles (suomenlainen kantarelli) for sale at the market by our house

Despite having added meat back into our diet a few years ago after more than a decade as vegetarians, we still eat meatless meals several times per week. It’s not really a conscious decision, just something that naturally happens when I plan the menu. Still, with the abundance of amazing local poultry & fish available here in Helsinki, I’ve been feeling like my best meals, at least recently, have included meat. That’s why I was so excited to hit one out of the park this past week, and on Meatless Monday no less!

Chanterelles are in season here in Finland, and by that, I mean the market stalls are bursting with these tasty orange mushrooms, and people are out combing the woods for them at every opportunity. So I bought a kilo the other day, and just threw them in to just about everything I was making from vegetable side-dishes to pizza. But I wanted to do something to really showcase them as a main course, and this Chanterelle Tart did the trick.

Ingredients:
1/2 recipe of my pie crust or enough to cover a 9″ pie pan
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
sprig of fresh thyme
2 T of white wine, stock, or water, to deglaze pan
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb chanterelles or mixed wild mushrooms
1/2 zucchini
1/2 yellow squash (you could substitute bell peppers, tomatoes, or really any veggie here, just adjust the cooking time accordingly!)
1 250g tub of ricotta cheese
1/4 c cream or sour cream or plain yogurt
2 eggs
4 ounces parmesan cheese
2 T fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Roll out the pie dough and place in the pie pan. Trim or crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.
  2. Chop the onion and sauté over medium-high heat in enough olive oil to keep the onion from sticking. Once the onions start to soften (but not brown!), turn down the heat to medium-low and add the sprig of thyme, salt & pepper, and the balsamic vinegar. Leave the onions to caramelize for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. While the onions are cooking, whip the ricotta cheese with a whisk and stir in one egg, one egg white (reserving the second yolk), the cream, the garlic, parmesan, and the parsley. Stir until smooth and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
  4. Once the onions are done, remove them from the pan and add a little wine or water or stock to deglaze. Add another drizzle of olive oil, increase heat to medium, and sauté the mushrooms and squash (or other vegetables) until they have released their liquid and their liquid has cooked off. If you do not cook the vegetables enough, your tart will not set as nicely, so this is important!!!
  5. Remove your pie crust from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap. Stir the vegetables into the ricotta mixture and pour into the pie pan. Glaze the edge of the crust with the reserved egg yolk and then put any remaining egg yolk straight on top of the ricotta mixture and mix in gently with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F, then reduce heat to 350F (175C), and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the crust and top have browned nicely and the tart has set.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving and serve with a mixed herb salad and vinaigrette.