Monday, May 24, 2010

Mushroom Pate (vegan!)

Back in the kitchen after a little time off; the weekend. This weekend was crazy busy and crazy fun! We actually ate out one night and then had two fantastic dinners at friends' houses which was a treat in more than one way. First, it's always fun to go to someone else's house to see what they do in the kitchen and second, the food on both accounts was fantastic!

In preparation for the Aperitif French cocktail hour party that is coming up I thought I'd better 'try' my theories out before I attempt to feed it to my guests. I'll try the crepes soon too but for now it was just the pate.

This idea came from a wine tasting we did recently. Their appetizer was a trio of bites, one of them being a mushroom pate. The one I made turned out pretty good! I'm thinking for the party I will make tartlets and put it in there but for now, it's darn good on crackers and cucumber.

It is super rich and flavorful making it a hearty appetizer, especially on crackers.

Olive oil to sautee
3 cloves garlic, 'smashed' through a press or diced
About 30 to 40 crimini mushrooms, sliced (note: I bought the big package from Costco so I'm totally guessing. Also, you could use any type of mushroom you want)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup walnuts, chopped

oh thyme from the garden... how I love you!

In a pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the garlic for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and continue to sautee on med/high heat. Let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add thyme and a little salt and pepper. (You can add more later when you taste the paste... ha!) Let everything combine and cook for about 5-6 minutes until mushrooms are pretty soft but not completely mushy.

Turn off the stove and pull out the food processor.

In your food processor, put walnuts and hot mushroom mixture. Pulse and blend until mixture is completely incorporated and mashed together. Taste it now and add salt and pepper as needed.

When done, scoop it out into a refrigerator container and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

I put it on whole wheat flat bread for lunch; I also had it on crackers and cucumber. The beautiful dark color looks great against the green of the cucumber. This spread is really versatile and flavorful. As I said before, I think I will put it in tartlets for the party... more on that.

However you serve it and whomever you enjoy it with, it's a hit even with meat eaters.



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