The other day I found a list (on HuffPo, yikes…) of people’s most hated foods, and it was kindof interesting. Some I totally agreed with — cauliflower is something I can hardly make myself swallow, and cottage cheese is a non-starter for me. Other things on the list I liked OK but totally understood how some people could find them offputting — blue cheese, brie, and lima beans, for instance.
But some things on that list totally baffled me. Ketchup? Who doesn’t like ketchup? I’m pretty sure American babies are born liking ketchup. Cilantro is objectively wonderful, too, although I suppose I’ve heard that some people have tastebuds that make cilantro taste very bitter to them. And coconut? What’s not to like? Coconut should be in everything!
One thing on the list that does sortof make sense to me is mushrooms. I am…not a mushroom person. I’ve been trying to be more adventurous and open-minded in the things I eat, though, and about a year ago I had some mushroom soup that was non-terrible. A few months ago I had mushrooms on a pizza, and I didn’t hate that either. So I decided to finally take the plunge and cook something with mushrooms myself. In fact, this whole recipe was an exercise in boundary-expansion — almost nothing on this ingredient really made my eyes light up, but I decided to give it ago. And I’m glad I did! This was light, tasty, and flavorful, and a very elegant twist on traditional green bean casserole.
GREEN BEAN-MUSHROOM TART WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS AND BLUE CHEESE (recipe from A Spicy Perspective)
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
3/4 lb. thin green beans, trimmed
3 tbsp butter, divided
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425. Lightly spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes; drain and place in ice water to cool. Set green beans on paper towel to dry.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and thyme; saute 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute another 2-3 minutes and remove from skillet, pulling out the thyme sprigs.
- Add remaining butter to skillet with sliced shallots. Saute until golden-brown and crispy, 5-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut puff pastry down the middle and place both pieces 3-4 inches apart on cookie sheet. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water, and brush the pastry sheets with egg. Neatly layer green beans down the length of each puff pastry rectangle.
- On both puff pastry sheets, top the green beans with mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese, and crispy onions. Salt and pepper lightly.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden. Serve warm or room temperature (makes 2 tarts).
This was fun to make and fun to eat. I might become a mushroom person yet!