Mushroom and Goats Cheese Tart

After taking part in National Vegetarian Week, I was asked by Mushroom Miles to use seasonal vegetables to create another mushroom dish, and to raise awareness of the carbon footprint that come with importing them. I am very glad I love mushrooms if not I would have to decline the job. They’re super versatile and make the meal much cheaper. After the last campaign, I vowed to have at least one veggie meal a week and I have bene sticking to that. I have also been swapping meat for veg at lunchtime occasionally too. Another thing I have found myself doing is checking the labels on my fresh produce to see where it has come from. I like to think myself as a person of reasonable intelligence, but I was surprised at how ignorant I was to the amount of food produced in the UK and the carbon footprint that comes with importing produce. 

Mushroom Miles aim to shed light on seasonal vegetables and promote recipes using vegetables which are in season within the UK to help support local farmers, promote reducing food miles and the positive impact it has on the environment. Supporting small businesses is important to me, especially now. The pandemic will have a devastating effect on many businesses, so I would rather spend a little more, and support local farmers. So without further ado, here are some of the key messages we were asked to portray:

Key Messages

  • Understanding seasonality, and how far food travels can make eating freshly grown, locally sourced vegetables achievable and at the same time help the environment.

  • The UK and Irish mushroom industry produce enough mushrooms to supply the whole of the UK all year round, without the need to import from countries like Poland – delivering fresher, better mushrooms with lower carbon footprint

  • The trendy avocado can travel as far as 6,263 miles when out of season which means it’s carbon footprint is a lot higher than mushrooms which can have an impact on the environment. Swap your Sunday morning smashed avocado for some delicious mushrooms and not only support local businesses but play a part in reducing your carbon footprint by choosing lower food mile options.

  • Despite the lack of knowledge about the provenance of the food they are eating – nearly two thirds of Brits (63 percent) say they are making more of an effort to reduce the food miles of the produce they buy. And 37 percent even said they’d pay MORE to buy food that came from the UK or Ireland. 

  • When buying mushrooms, it’s important to always check the country of origin, which can be found on front of pack to ensure you’re purchasing the freshest, highest quality produce available to you.

Baring all of these in mind, I wanted to create a dish that would use local produce, and seasonal ones. I decided to make a mushroom and goats cheese tart as it is simple to make, super tasty and can be served with various side dishes to make a brilliant summer meze.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry.

  • 300g UK or Irish mushrooms. I cut mine in different ways so I had a variety of textures.

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.

  • 3 large shallots, sliced.

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Fresh herbs – I used basil, sage and chives. I am growing my own herbs so it’s lovely having the option to just pick my own from outside.

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.

  • 100g goats cheese.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. In a large saucepan, melt a knob of butter and add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until they have softened.

  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Once they’re cooked, remove the pan from the heat.

  4. In the meantime, roll the pastry out on to a tray and score around the edge. Spread the tomato puree over the pastry and add the mushrooms and onion.

  5. Scatter the goats cheese and fresh herbs on top.

  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and leave to cool for around 10 minutes.

  7. I served mine with a rocket, baby leaf and pine nut salad, tomato and mozzarella, and griddled seasonal asparagus.

Enjoy!

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