Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mushroom and Walnut Pate

(pictured: Mushroom Walnut Pate topped with minced parsley and truffle oil on Wasa Crisps)

I wish I had a nicer photo of this pate to post to do the recipe justice. The overall flavor of this pate is amazing. The texture is soft and mimics the original very well.

There are a few things I love about this pate. First, I love that is that is very fast and easy. Second, the flavor is almost addictive. Third, mushrooms are good for protecting against breast cancer, and who doesn’t want that?

If you like mushrooms and Marsala, I think you will love this pate.

Mushroom and Walnut Pate
makes 20 servings of approximately 2 ounces each


1 pound of fresh crimini mushrooms, quartered
2 ounces of dried mixed mushrooms (porcini, morels, chanterelles, and shitake)
1 cup of dry Marsala
2 tablespoons of roasted garlic (approximately one large head of garlic roasted)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
2 cups of walnuts, toasted
Juice of ½ a lemon

Optional Ingredients:

Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, which have been sautéed in olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced and cut to 1 inch in length or less and fried until crispy
½ leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced and fried until crispy
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
truffle oil to drizzle on top


Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in simmering water until tender, approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms to a colander (rinse to remove any residual sand and dirt).

Pour the mushroom broth through a strainer that is lined with damp paper towel or three layers of cheesecloth. The mushroom broth can be saved as is in the freezer for later use or reduced by ¾ and saved frozen in concentrated form. This reduced stock is very useful in any dish including mushroom and sauce.

Return the rehydrated mushrooms to a large skillet and add the remaining ingredients (Marsala through thyme). Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the Marsala has almost evaporated (approximately a tablespoon will remain in the pan. Add the walnuts to the pan to warm.

Place mushroom mixture into the bowl of a large food processor (14 cup) or process in batches if necessary. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, if using and process to thoroughly combine. Check for salt and pepper and move mixture to a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

To serve:

The pate can be served on toast, crackers, crostini, puff pastry rounds, or wonton crisps. It can also be used to dress pasta or to top chicken. The pate can be topped with the optional walnuts, fried onions, fried leeks and/or parsley or truffle oil.

The mushroom mixture also makes excellent ravioli filling. If using as ravioli filling it is best with a simple sauce that doesn’t compete, like thyme and garlic in olive oil. It would be good topped with a few chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 105.86
Calories From Fat (64%) - 67.35

Total Fat - 8.03g
Saturated Fat - 0.78g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 190.97mg
Potassium - 217.28mg
Total Carbohydrates - 5.66g
Fiber - 1.31g
Sugar - 0.82g
Protein - 2.78g


This recipe is so good that no one will care that it is vegan. It is one of my favorite recipes.

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