Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pate that's not scary

People are definitely pretty leery of pate. "ew liver gross!" But my friends, I must say (as a recent convert myself), pate can be delicious. (thanks to M and R for ordering that charcuterie board at Russell Tavern in Harvard Square and showing me how delicious and not scary pate and rillettes are.)

So for those of you who still shy away from anything involving liver, here's a pate recipe. And guess what, it's vegan. Totally not scary, full of normal ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

I found this recipe in Jane Green's newest novel, Promises to Keep. I was totally surprised when at the end of chapter one, in which this certain almond cake is mentioned over and over again, in a way that kind of seemed odd, there was a recipe for that same almond cake. Each chapter had a recipe- what a pleasant surprise!

This recipe was made by a vegan and devoured by her dog. All the characters were greatly disappointed because the pate was so delicious- so obviously I had to try it.

Mushroom and Walnut Pate
recipe provided by Jane Green

2 cups dried mushrooms, soaked for a while and water drained and discarded
1 cup fresh mushroom (I used baby bellas)
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2T olive oil
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 and 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3T tahini
2T hoisin
3T tamari soy sauce (I used plain soy sauce, my grocery store is somewhat limited)
1t dried oregano
1/2t dried sage

In a large frying pan, saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms with the olive oil for 7-8 minutes over medium heat. Let cool slightly, then puree in a food processor, along with the parsley and walnuts.

Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate overnight. Season with salt and pepper as desired (I found it needed no salt, and I added a few grinds of black pepper).

Serve cool or at room temperature with plain crackers or sliced baguette.

When I brought this to our wine tasting, I made a sign- it looks suspiciously like liver pate, and I didn't want people to get scared off. Plus I thought any vegan/vegetarian guests might enjoy having something they knew would work with their diet. My pate ended up being one of the most popular dishes!

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