Local Mushroom and Escarole Tart

Ingredients:

Tart Shell (Flour, Salt, Butter, Water) Tart Batter (Egg, Cream) Tart Filling (Fennel, Escarole, Onion, Garlic, White Wine, Olive Oil, Maitake Mushroom, Fennel Seed, Red Pepper Flake, Salt) Frisee, Maitake Mushroom, Shallot, Pancetta

How We Got Here:

Your tart shell is hand mixed, rolled, and molded into individual tart shells. These shells are filled with baking weights and blind baked for 15-20 min until the dough begins to color. We then remove the weights and return to the oven allowing the bottom of the tart to turn golden brown. The filling is made by sautéing the onion, garlic, and maitake mushrooms until they begin to caramelize. We then add the escarole and cook for another hour until all the water has been cooked out of the vegetables. Once they begin to deepen in color, we deglaze with white wine. We continue to simmer this mixture until almost all the liquid has evaporated. We season this mixture with our spices, remove from heat and strain out any remaining liquid. This liquid is then returned to a sauté pan, reduced to by half, and folded back into the tart filling. All the remaining ingredients are carefully prepped and packaged ready for you, the home cook to finish the dish. Enjoy!

Sommelier Doug Smith’s

Tasting Notes/Recommended Wine Pairings

Wine Recommendation: William Hill Estate Winery Chardonnay

Premium Wine Recommendation: William Hill Estate Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley

Maitake, or hen-of-the-woods, are mushrooms with a succulent yet mild flavor reminiscent of chicken, crab, or lobster. The escarole, as a contrast, introduces a hint of bitterness while boasting numerous health benefits as it’s loaded with vitamins. To match the wine, we look to the primary flavors and note that the recipe includes white wine, so we are going to stick with a white wine pairing to complement the dish. The maitake and escarole, as well as the frisee drive the flavor profile of this dish.  But the true driver of the wine pairing is the texture of the dish, the creaminess of the tart filling as well as the softness of the poached egg.  The mushroom, egg and texture scream oaky chardonnay.  In fact a California Chardonnay would be perfect. The success of California Chardonnay runs deep and it seems like it’s a permanent fixture of the landscape, overlooked while wine drinking attention turns to the latest trends. Chardonnay, while taken for granted recently, has witnessed style changes in recent years. It all started in the 1970’s when the Chardonnay boom went wild.  The quality of California Chardonnay remains high as vintners add new styles to the mix and you now need to seek out heavy oak Chards as the current preferred trend is a more austere, crisp version of the varietal.  Of course the ever-increasing prices for French oak barrels certainly plays a role in the current trend of limited oak exposure.  It just makes the search that much more challenging but worthwhile.  Recognize, however, that the price of those barrels is reflected in the price of the wine, so you will pay a premium for that oaky Chard.  But here at @Home Meal Experience, we are up to the challenge to find a value driven expression of the Burgundian style Chardonnay which is characterized as barrel use, lees aging and use of malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity.

The recommended wine is the William Hill Estate Winery Chardonnay (PLCB $16.99). The William Hill estate is one of Napa’s true hidden treasures, situated in the foothills of Atlas Peak, overlooking the town of Napa. This chardonnay is medium-bodied and food-friendly, featuring ripe notes of honeydew melon, juicy pear and apple crumble. Backed by delicate hints of Meyer lemon and nutmeg, this elegantly structured chardonnay is smooth and well-balanced with some acidity but the creamy mouthfeel we need to mirror the textures in the dish.  This is the oaked style Chard we need for matching the creaminess of the tart and poached egg.

The premium recommended wine is also form the same winery and is the William Hill Estate Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley (PLCB $27.99).  This bottling is their full-bodied and rich chardonnay and they source the grapes from St. Helena, Oak Knoll and Carneros. The wine then undergoes a full malolactic fermentation while aging in new American oak. The result is a creamy, round, and vivid chardonnay, packed with lemon cream, brioche, pear and dried apricots.