This amazing Mushroom Almond Pate is a vegetarian answer to the rich flavors and textures of liver-based pate. The depth of flavor and richness of this spread belies it’s vegetarian (or vegan) roots. This is a great alternative to the more common party offerings such as onion dip and cheese balls or a fantastic treat just because. It doesn’t take much work beyond chopping the onion and mushrooms and the willpower to leave it alone in the fridge (though I won’t tell if you eat it straight out of the processor bowl–it’s pretty amazing before it’s ripened too). Have it with crackers or toast points for parties, or with chunks of french baguettes, apples and brie for a simple dinner with a glass of wine. Once you’ve made this pate it will earn a permanent spot in your repetoire and I can guarantee that you’ll be passing out the recipe afterward.
Mushroom Almond Pate
2 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 c. whole almonds
2 tbsp. olive, flax or nut oil of your choice
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. mushroom flavored soy sauce, regular soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in butter until onions are caramelized golden brown and mushrooms are cooked through and set aside. Process almonds, oil and vinegar together in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the mushroom/onion mixture, soy sauce and pepper to the bowl of the processor and process together until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adjust if neccessary and scrape out of the processor into a bowl, cover, and refridgerate for a couple of hours to allow flavors to meld.
-Now, I do say to process until smooth, but don’t stress if you can’t quite get it there. The texture of the ground almonds when it’s not quite smooth isn’t a bad thing. If you need to, you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to the mix to help it blend to a smoother texture, but don’t let it get too thin–the end texture should still be more of a paste/spread and less runny than a dip.
-To make this gluten free, seek out gluten free brewed soy sauce (tamari) and balsamic vinegar. To make it vegan, try making it with just oil or a vegan margarine.
-This is a richer dish than you want to eat all the time, but if you use all flax oil instead of butter or margarine you can amp up the good fats and pretend that the whole thing is really good for you. Which it is, despite it’s rich nature. If nothing else, it’s cholesterol free, which is more than you can say for any of the liver pates.