Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walnut-Mushroom Pâté

Pâté - a fancy dip - always sounded like something I would like to try.. or at least I did until I found out what it was made out of! Check it out here, if you don't already know what it is. In any event, it didn't sound appetizing. But this walnut-mushroom pâté is to die for! It is so rich and delicious. And best of all, it didn't make me gag when I read the ingredients list :) Now this is a dip for a fancy dinner party, or just whenever you feel like it.
I got the recipe from Veganomicon, but I had to change it just a little because I was lacking in some ingredients. As always, make it your own. 

Walnut-Mushroom Pâté
about 30 minutes plus chill time

3 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp salt (this is what the book calls for, but I added about 1 more tsp)
Fresh ground black pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped *
3.5 oz shiitaki mushrooms (1 pkg), chopped *
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
up to 1/4 cup cold vegetable broth

*Veganomicon calls for 1lb of cremini mushrooms, but I didn't not have that much so I improvised. I suppose you could use whichever mushrooms you like* 

Heat 2 tbsp of the EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 7-10 minutes until they are very soft, don't let them burn.
While the mushrooms are cooking, use a blender or food processor and process walnuts until very fine.
Add the mushroom mixture to walnuts in the food processor, along with the balsamic vinegar, beans and remaining tbsp of oil. Process until smooth, adding the vegetable brother 1 tbsp at at time as needed. Should result in a smooth, thick and spreadable paste. Scrap mixture into an airtight container to chill for at least an hour before serving, to let the flavors meld. Serve with delicious crackers.

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