An earthy and nutty smooth vegan pâté made with mushrooms, hazelnuts and lots of fresh sage.
Do you ever feel like you're sliding out of one week and into the next like a baseball player sliding into the home plate just in the nick of time? That's me the last few weeks. I may have scored a home run or two, but boy it's been close.
Last weekend I was determined to carve out a little kitchen time, which for me is relaxing time, and tinker with this vegan pâté recipe I've been pondering for a while. I wanted something rich and luxurious, well suited to serve alongside wine on a weekend evening.
Pâté is typically a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Not my cup of tea.
Mushrooms on the other hand, are totally my jam. Their meaty texture and rich flavour mean they work really well as a meat replacer in all sorts of recipes, like my family's favourite bolognese.
For this pâté recipe I sautéed mushrooms, shallot, garlic and plenty of fresh sage, before adding a generous splash of brandy to deglaze the pan. Blended with toasted hazelnuts, brown lentils and some black olives, the resulting pâté is smooth, salty, rich and very satisfying.
Using coconut oil instead of olive oil to sauté helps the mixture set once chilled, so it becomes a thick, spreadable paste. A pâté by any other name.
If you haven't toasted hazelnuts before, never fear, it's easier than it sounds.
I simply roast whole hazelnuts in a medium-hot oven for about 10 minutes, until they're smelling toasty and looking golden.
Once the hazelnuts are out of the oven, tip them onto a tea towel, close it up and give them a good rub inside the tea towel. Most of the brittle skins will flake off easily and you can just pick the nuts out to use in your recipe.
Put your feet up
It's almost mandatory to relax while you enjoy this pâté. Ideally you'll be sitting in front of a fire or somewhere with a view, with a glass of your favourite red wine and an old friend or lover to chat to.
Serve the mushroom pâté with toasted baguette slices, or five seed crackers for a gluten free option.
- ½ cup hazelnuts (about 70g)
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 cups mushrooms chopped (about 300g)
- 2 shallots finely chopped (or a small red onion)
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 6 fresh sage leaves finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Scant ¼ cup brandy (optional but recommended)
- ½ cup cooked brown lentils (fresh or canned)
- 10 pitted black olives
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced baguette or crackers of your choice
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Roast hazelnuts for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and smelling toasty. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes then tip onto a clean tea towel. Close up the tea towel and give the nuts a good rub to encourage their skins to flake off, then pick out the nuts.
- While the nuts are roasting, heat coconut oil in a frypan (skillet) over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook for a few minutes until softened then add the mushrooms, sage and nutmeg. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are well coloured and much of their liquid has cooked off.
- Add brandy to the pan carefully, it may flame (mine didn't, which was very disappointing!). Stir to deglaze the pan and cook for a minute or two until the alcohol has cooked off and the brandy liquid has reduced. Turn off the heat.
- Add cooked mushroom mixture, toasted hazelnuts, brown lentils and black olives to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. It's a thick mixture, so you'll need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scrape the pate mixture into a container or serving bowl and refrigerate until cool and firm, 1-2 hours ideally.
- Serve with toasted, sliced baguette or crackers of your choice.
- I used a 50:50 mix of button and portobello mushrooms.
- Nutrition information is estimated for pate only, and does not include baguette or crackers for serving.