Roast Mushroom Pâté—based on a delicious vegetarian recipe that had a painful step
I don’t remember exactly when I started making the recipe that Roast Mushroom Pâté is based on, but I remember why I stopped making it. In order to deepen the flavor of the mushrooms, the recipe called for taking dried mushrooms and pulsing them in a mini food processor until they formed a powder.
Have you ever done that? If so, you might be wincing involuntarily right now, remembering the pain of getting dried mushroom powder up your nose. Or cleaning up afterwards. Both. Good lord, that stuff stings.
So painful that I shelved the recipe
I loved the recipe for Awesome Mushroom Pâté from the French Revolution food blog (I wish she was still at it). Broiled mushrooms with dried mushroom powder have such a complex flavor, and, once you’ve done that, the rest comes together in seconds. However, after making this truly awesome pâté a few times, I just couldn’t take dealing with the mess of making my own mushroom powder, and so I shelved it.
Aha, porcini powder!
Or, rather, I shelved it until I was in Cristina’s Spice and Specialty Foods in Inman Square, near where I used to live, one fine day a few years ago. As I perused the isles, I spied porcini powder. I, and my poor nose, rejoiced. I picked up a jar, and mushroom pâté was back on the menu.
A little tinkering, making the recipe mine
As with many recipes that we make often, I tinkered with this one. Instead of broiling the mushrooms, I roast them, finding that the flavor was there, but everything is less prone to scorching, especially with a smaller batch. To keep the cost of the dish a bit lower, I stick with cremini mushrooms, and, because of that, I just toss all the mushrooms in Roast Mushroom Pâté.
I always have cream cheese on hand, so I just use that. I use a fair amount of parsley. If I happen to have truffle oil, I sometimes use it, but I haven’t called for it here, thinking that one specialty ingredient is enough for one recipe. You won’t mind.
You’ll find plenty of uses for porcini powder
Speaking of that specialty ingredient, you can use porcini powder for many dishes. It adds a deep earthy note to soups and sauces (especially pasta), and, as with the roasted mushrooms in this dish, it jazzes up lesser mushrooms. You’ll find yourself reaching for it.
Roast Mushroom Pâté—about as hands off as it gets
Hands-on time for this recipe is a dream. Clean your mushrooms with paper towels, trim and quarter them and toss them on a foil-lined sheet pan. Toss some thyme and garlic cloves on the pan. Sprinkle the porcini powder over the mushrooms, drizzle with olive oil, and give everything a good stir.
Roast the mushrooms
Season with fresh-cracked black pepper and kosher salt and stick that in a 450-degree oven for about 17 minutes. Make sure to check on it about half-way through and give things a stir. The porcini powder is going to make the mushrooms look burnt, but they won’t be.
Then whiz it all together
Once the mushrooms are done, get them into a bowl and season with a little more salt and set them aside to cool. After about 15 minutes, you just add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor and whiz it all together. Chill your Roast Mushroom Pâté for a few hours and then just pull it out a few minutes before you want to serve it. That’s it!
A small-batch vegetarian recipe that scales up for a party
This is a small-batch recipe that makes enough for a couple of appetizers or snacking sessions (it keeps for a few days in the refrigerator). And, while this definitely is an entry in the Brown Food Tastes Good files, I’ve served Roast Mushroom Pâté at parties, too, as it makes a tasty vegetarian option. To scale up the recipe, simply select the multiplier in the recipe card.
I’d love to hear from you if you make it! Let us know how it goes.
Roast Mushroom Pâté
- 1 Small Food Processor
For the Roast Mushrooms
- 170 grams cremini mushrooms, cleaned with paper towels, trimmed, and cut into quarters 6 ounces
- 1 tbsp porcini powder see note
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil you may need a little extra
- 2 cloves garlic, still in their skins
- 3 sprigs thyme
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
For the Roast Mushroom Pâté
- 1 batch Roast Mushrooms
- 57 grams cream cheese about 2 ounces
- 3 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley, leaves only
- ¼ lemon, juiced to taste
- flaky sea salt, to serve optional
To Roast the Mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 450. Line a small baking sheet pan with foil
- Add the mushrooms the baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs to the pan. Sprinkle the porcini powder. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir to combine. Season season with pepper and a generous pinch of salt (you'll add more later)
- Place the mushrooms in middle rack of the oven and roast for 17 minutes, giving them a stir about halfway through and checking every couple of minutes thereafter. Note that the porcini powder is going to make things look burnt, but don't worry. With the porcini powder and the high heat, you shouldn't have a problem with liquid in the pan, but if your mushrooms start releasing a lot of liquid, drain it off
- When the mushrooms are done, transfer them to a small bowl to cool and sprinkle with more kosher salt (optional). Discard the thyme and garlic (if you wanted, you could squeeze the roasted garlic into the mushrooms, but I don't do this). Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so
To Make the the Roast Mushroom Pâté
- Add the roast mushrooms, cream cheese, parsley, and lemon juice to the bowl of a small food processor
- Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure that everything is combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary
- Transfer the mixture to a small serving dish. Cover with plastic, pressing down onto the surface of the pâté to prevent a skin from forming
- Chill for at least 1, but preferably 3 hours to allow the flavors to develop
- About 15 minutes before serving, remove from the refrigerator. Garnish with a little parsley and some flaky sea salt, if desired. Enjoy!
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