Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Shabbat, I hosted four generations of family. Our apartment was filled to over-flowing with the happy sounds of children playing and adults sighing from both joy and having eaten too much food. Matthew and Frances are returning to New York today and the house already is almost eerily quiet. Our two cats are calming down and I finally have some time to sit and write down a few thoughts.
I’m always looking for wonderful vegetarian or vegan options to go along with a main course of meat. Since Thanksgiving had turkey and Friday was short ribs I needed lots of side dishes and an hors d’oevre to go with drinks. In searching for recipes I came across a mushroom walnut pâté that seemed both easy to make and fit my requirements of being vegan. I used to make a wonderful mushroom pâté years ago, but since it had farmer’s cheese in it, I couldn’t use it for this crowd. Now if you don’t like mushrooms (how can you NOT like mushrooms?!) don’t bother making this. It most definitely tastes like mushrooms. Since we all love them, this was perfect. It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients and the most exotic piece of equipment that you need is a blender or food processor. Make it several hours to the day before you intend on serving it.
Mushroom Walnut Pâté adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or Earht Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks)
3/4 pound chopped, mixed mushrooms (I used shitake, oyster and crimini)
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic cloves, smashed
i bunch chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (I happened to have lemon thyme on hand
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons EVOO
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly browned.
- In a large saute pan, cook shallots in butter or Vegan “butter” over medium heat until translicent. Then add the chopped mushrooms, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook stirring often until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Process toasted walnuts and olive oil in a blender or food processor until the mixture forms a thick paste. Spoon in the cooked mushroom mixture and process to desired texture.
- If you want to be able to unmold the pâté then pack it into well-oiled ramekins or bowl. Otehrwise, just pack it into a pretty bowl and refrigerate it for a few hours or over-night. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.