Walnut and Mushroom Pâté
Adapted from All Recipes
1 cup walnuts
½ cup minced shallots
¼ cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ pound shiitake or maitake mushrooms, chopped
¼ pound crimini or portobello mushrooms, chopped
¼ pound chanterelle or oyster mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup exotic mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, etc.) stems discarded and caps quartered (optional)
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon walnut oil
½ small Bosc or d’Anjou pear, diced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned.
In a large sauté pan, cook shallots in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Then add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add mushrooms, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Process toasted walnuts and the rest of the olive oil in a blender or food processor until mixture forms a thick paste. Spoon in the cooked mushroom mixture, and process to desired texture. Process less if you like your pâté to be a bit chunky.
Pack mixture into well-oiled ramekins or bowl. I used a terrine (7¾” x 3¾” x 3¼”). If using a rectangular mold (or terrine), I recommend lining your terrine with parchment paper and allow the paper to hang over the sides. This will help you be able to unfold the pâté with greater ease. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
To make the topping, heat olive oil under low heat, add mushrooms and walnuts and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and liquid they give off has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, and and toss with the walnut oil. Allow to cool to room temperature, then stir in the pear, parsley, salt, and pepper and toss to combine.
To unmold pâté, run a thin knife between paper and edges of loaf pan. Invert a serving plate over loaf pan and invert pâté onto plate (peel off paper). Mound topping on pâté, and serve with gougères, toasts and/or crackers.
Notes: I’ve made this pâté using several different types of mushrooms. Use whatever combination of mushrooms you can afford, enjoy and are available to you.
The nutty, savory and sweet, and unique topping is a variation of the topping from my Rustic Parsnip Soup. The first time I made this pâté (photographed above), I didn’t include mushrooms in the topping. Since then, I’ve included them each time I’ve made it again. I love the added texture.