Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pâté

Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pate
Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pate

I’ve been really hungry lately, Truthfully, I’m always really hungry, but it seems especially bad lately. I think it’s because I’ve finally started working out again post baby. Being hungry is good and bad for me. I love to eat, but I actually hate snacks. I pretty much never want to eat snacks. More often than not they aren’t very good, and then you can’t eat something you really want to eat because you’re full. Also, rarely are snacks good for you, at least the ones that taste good. So, I don’ t like snacks. If I do snack (and I do, several times a day) I usually eat a small portion of leftovers because it’s just better food. I’m ranting about this because this Pâté is an exception. I made it for guests, and then ended up eating it for days and looking forward to it!

This delightful Pâté -originally from the Veganomicon– is super easy, and you probably have almost everything in your pantry. I used fresh herbs in mine because I happened to have them hanging around. The original recipe calls for dried so I’m sure that would be fine if it’s what you have on hand.

 Vegan Walnut Mushroom Pâté

Originally from Veganomicon

 Ingredients

  • 3 TBL olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBL fresh tyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 TBL fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 LB cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • up to 1/4 cup vegetable broth (I didn’t use any)

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent,
  3. Addthe garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt, and pepper, and cook another minute.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until they are very soft, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent them from burning.
  5. While the mushrooms are cooking, place the walnuts in a food processor or blender and process until very fine.
  6. Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the walnuts in the food processor, along with the balsamic vinegar, beans, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Process until smooth, adding the vegetable broth 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to make a smooth puree. Note: I didn’t need to use any.
  7. Continue to puree the ingredients until the pate resembles a smooth, thick and spreadable paste.
  8. Scrap mixture into an airtight container and chill for at least an hour before serving, to allow the flavors to meld.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo before being turned into salsa
Tomatillo before being turned into salsa

I’m not going to lie to you; the picture of the tomatillos is not mine, it is fromhttp://commons.wikimedia.org. I almost didn’t write this post for a lack of a picture of the salsa, but I didn’t want to ruin your Cinco de Mayo because I didn’t have a picture of this delicious roasted tomatillo salsa. I have tried to take pictures of it, but it is eaten to fast and the pictures always blur. This salsa is a recipe I learned at the elbow of a wonderful friend when we lived in San Diego. Since living in Maine we have been growing our own tomatillos and have been making great batches of the salsa, always with the memories of being almost smoked out of our very small enclosed kitchen in San Diego when our friend roasted the chili peppers. Oh, the sweet memories. This is a perfect appetizer for any Mexican meal, or anytime you want to impress someone with your amazing salsa making abilities.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • 12-15 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 5-15 chilis del arbol
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Instructions

  1. Line a heavy skillet with aluminum foil. (I use my cast iron skillet)
  2. Place tomatillos in the skillet and roast over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until tomatillos are cooked through and turning black in spots. About 20-30 minutes. (If you under-cook them I hear they taste like caterpillars) 
  3. While cooking tomatillos heat a small amount of oil in a small skillet. Add the chilies and cook until they are browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. When tomatillos are cooked through place all ingredients (adding only a few chilies to start) in a food processor and blend until everything is mixed and very finely chopped.
  5. Taste and add more chilies and salt to suit your palate.
  6. Serve warm or after it has cooled depending on you level of patience.

Note: Salsa looses some of it’s spiciness when it cools.