Monday, September 16, 2013

VeganMoFo 8: Edamame, Oyster Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Tartlets

I love anything in a crust.  Sweet or savory, I'm all over it.  The other day, I was looking for a simple pie crust recipe that used oil instead of vegan butter or shortening and decided to try this one from About.com.  As for the pie/tart filling, I knew that caramelized onions would be involved.  I winged it with the rest.  Do you really need anything more than caramelized onions though? :)


And this is totally optional, but I topped the tartlets with crumbles of Kite Hill's truffle, dill, and chive nut-based cheese.  Ah-mazing.  They make several variations of vegan cheeses, which are available exclusively at Whole Foods.  Look for it in the cheese department along with the dairy cheeses. The cheese added wonderful flavor to these tartlets. If you can't get your hands on Kite Hill cheese, you can also use dollops of the homemade cashew cheese from my previous post.


Makes 3 tartlets 

Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil, for sautéing
1 large onion, sliced into half moons
1 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen/thawed)
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for about 30 minutes until caramelized (instructions here)
  3. Transfer the caramelized onions to a bowl and set aside.
  4. To the same skillet, add the edamame and mushrooms. There should be a small amount of leftover oil from sautéing the onions.  If not, add a a few drops of oil to the pan.
  5. Season with the thyme and salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté briefly for about 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside.
Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup avocado oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons cold water
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Add the oil and stir until combined.
  3. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until just combined (try not to over-mix)
Assembly
3 tartlet pans (4.75 inch)
3 tablespoons Kite Hill cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Divide the pie dough into 3 equal sized balls.  Using your fingers, press the dough into the bottoms and sides of the tartlet pans.
  3. Fill each tartlet with a layer of onions, then a layer of the edamame-mushroom mixture, and then top with crumbled cheese, if using.
  4. Place the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This is what the tartlets looked like fresh out of the oven.  The mushrooms shrank in size.


I probably should have made larger crumbles of the cheese because as you can see, they kind of evaporated in the oven.  So, I added more cheese crumbles on top of the finished baked tarts.  I also thought that they needed a little more color, so I added some sautéed chopped orange bell peppers on top as well.


And there you have it!  I could barely wait for the tartlets to cool before devouring one of them.  I give this dish two enthusiastic thumbs up, although I may be biased. :)  Even though there's no puréed tofu, beans, or nut-based cream in the filling, the onions stayed moist and did a nice job holding everything together.  In another iteration of this recipe, I may add some sort of "glue" to the filling, but I honestly don't think it's needed.  I'd say that the caramelized onions are absolutely necessary here though.  There's something magical about caramelized onions in combination with a crust.  It's heavenly.

I know three tartlets is a weird number of servings for a recipe.  I suppose if I tried harder and made the crusts thinner, I could have squeezed out four tarlets instead of just three.  Also, if you don't have tartlet pans, I'm sure this would work in a larger 8-inch pie/tart pan too.  Or even a muffin pan. :)

I was amazed at how flaky the crust turned out, given that room temperature oil was used instead of cold vegan butter or shortening.  Even better, the crust was just as good the next day.  I think this will be the only crust I make from now on.  No rolling pin, pastry cutter, or chilling time needed? I'm sold.

Enjoy!