Cooking with Love: Carla Hall's Rustic Mushroom Tart

Hey, guess what? I got an opportunity to review Carla Hall”s brand new cookbook, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You.  I was obviously very excited.  Thanks, ES!

I have been a fan of Carla Hall since her first season on Top Chef, Season 5.  When she came back for All-Stars, I also enjoyed rooting her on.  She has a southern style of cooking that focuses on comfort food and fine dining spins on classics.  Plus, she has a super perky and positive personality, but not in an annoying sort of way.  Like in a contagiously sunny kind of way.

This book has so many great recipes that I”ve bookmarked to try, like goat cheese grits and buffalo wing burgers (yum!)  It also has some little anecdotes and tips from Carla.  Carla was a caterer before she made it big and has some great tips about serving large groups, if you are into that kind of thing.  If I had to give a constructive criticism about the book, it would be that I would like a picture for every recipe.  That”s probably not doable to have so many photographs, but that”s what I like.  Although the pictures that are already in the book are quite stunning.

All in all, I”d say everyone should definitely have this cookbook on their shelves.  It”s pretty rockin”.

So, I decided to make the mushroom nbso tart recipe and it was pretty boss.  Super easy and oh so tasty.  I didn”t use a paddle attachment on a food processor , so my dough was a little more crumbly than hers appears.  It was still really good, though.

You should make this and pop over to Amazon to preorder her book, which comes out November 6th.

Rustic Mushroom Tart from Cooking with Love

serves 6

3/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used storebought, but there is a recipe for homemade)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3/4 lb mixed mushrooms (I used a handful of each white mushrooms, baby bellas & shiitake)
1 medium leek (I used 2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 disk Flaky Butter Crust (recipe on p. 257—or use a store-bought pie crust)
1/2 lemon (for zesting)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan, rosemary and 1/4 tsp pepper until well mixed.

In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat until the butter melts.  Add the mushrooms, leek (or celery), garlic and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom juices release and evaporate and the mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, and simmer until it evaporates.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.

On a large sheet of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12″ round.  Slide the parchment with dough onto a sheet pan.

Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2″ border.  Spoon the mushrooms in an even layer over the cheese.  Fold the border of the dough over the mushrooms, pleating the dough every 2 inches.  Immediately transfer to the oven.

Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Grate the lemon zest directly over the mushroom filling and drizzle with olive oil.  Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Easy peasy pie…erm…tart.

I served mine with roasted veggies and a super yummy lamb kabob that in no way looks like poo.  The kabob recipe will likely appear on Attack of the Hungry Monster on Monday, assuming I can get my act together 😉

“Hungry monster” is Renee from, a cooking and (occasional) crafting site.  She’s a self-taught home chef who likes to put her own spin on classic recipes.  Go visit her blog and say hi.  Or follow her on Twitter  @athungrymonster.

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