Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mushroom & walnut pâté

Do you think about Easter already? I do. It does have quite strong religious character in Poland and I am not bothered about this, but I always manage to get some time off and this year I will spend this time with my family and friends in Poland. Therefore I look forward Easter and I cannot wait to get on a plane and go back home for few days. 

Today I would like to show you one of the recipes that can be quite useful when you have friends around and want to make light brunch, or just have something to snack. I find many people not knowing what tasty food to prepare when they have vegans or vegetarians for a meal. This is one of these things that will wow anybody, even committed meat eaters.  

I wonder how should I name it, but really a pâté seems to be suitable one (rather than dip).  The recipe below inspired by one from "Veganomicon. The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" (Isa Chandra Moscowitz, Terry Hope Romero).

Makes about 2 cups 

about 5 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped  
leaves picked from 2-3 springs of fresh thyme
1 tsp of chopped fresh parsley  
about 400g mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used brown)
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 cup of cooked beans (I used cannellini)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar  
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry for about 10 minutes until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic, thyme, parsley and fry for about 3 minutes. Next add the mushrooms, season with salt and let them cook until softened. Remove from a heat and set aside. Let them cool down slightly. 

Place the walnuts in a food processor and process until very fine. 

Next add the beans and the mushrooms with all the juices from the pan. Add vinegar, quite a lot of pepper and whiz. Add the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil while whizzing. 

Season with some salt and pepper if required and place the pate in an airtight container. Chill before serving. It tastes so much better next day, when the flavours have chance to mellow.   

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