Start your New Year’s Day dinner with ruffles and flourishes—specifically this flaky, frilly tart of filo leaves containing an earthy mix of exotic mushrooms and leeks, from the elegant Conservatory at Dallas’ Hotel Crescent Court.

Says executive chef Jim Mills: “Our customers are always surprised by this dish. They tell me, ‘Well, it didn’t sound all that exciting on the menu, but when the waiter put the plate in front of me, it looked more intriguing. Then I tasted it—it’s the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.’”

Surrounding each tart shell is a fragrant herb salad of basil, dill, tarragon, and radicchio dressed in the essence of red wine vinaigrette.

Tart Shells

2 frozen filo sheets (18 by 14 inches)
Pam or other vegetable oil spray
4 tart pans (4 inches in diameter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each sheet of filo into six 6- by 7-inch pieces. Spray filo with Pam and press 3 pieces into each tart pan to form shells. Bake about 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Mushroom and Leek Filling

2/3 cup prepared frozen veal stock
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups julienne wild mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, chanterelle, or other)
1/2 cup julienne white mushrooms
1 teaspoon vinaigrette (see recipe, below)
2 leeks, white part only, cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch diamonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Reduce stock in saucepan over high heat to 1/3 cup. saute pan, cook garlic and shallots oil medium-high until lightly browned. Add mushrooms; cook another 5 minutes. Add vinaigrette, leeks, and stock; cook another minute and season. Spoon into shells.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring red wine to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Then lower heat and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Toward the end, cook very slowly so liquid does not caramelize. Place reduction in small mixing bowl. Add shallots, garlic, vinegar, mustard, and oil, beating with a wire whisk to form an emulsion. Add thyme and season to taste.

Herb Salad

1/3 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup dill sprigs, separated
1 cup Italian or flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup tarragon leaves
1/4 cup chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
4 radicchio leaves, torn

Toss ingredients with half the vinaigrette or to taste. To serve, arrange salad around tart on plate. Drizzle a line of vinaigrette on salad as decoration. Serves 4.