Vegan Walnut Mushroom Pate

Vegan Walnut and Mushroom Pâté      makes 1 ½ cups

Paleo, vegan; no grain, dairy, nightshades – with options for soy

Super convincing colour, flavour and texture and popular when entertaining. Serve with small crisp crackers or toast triangles. Accompany with cornichons, radishes, pickled artichokes and baby carrots.

Or serve this for dinner with soup (eg vegetable and lentil) and toast. Or as part of a fun assemble-your-own wrap/container meal. Offer nori sheets or taco shells as a holder, or large rice crackers as a base. For more protein provide tinned fish, chopped boiled eggs, falafel, or grated tofu. For crunch, bowls of grated carrot, shredded lettuce and sliced cucumber. Offer mayo and Dijon mustard as condiments, or mix tahini with lemon juice and tamari for drizzling. Yum. All the herbs and spices, nuts and veg provide protective antioxidants, fats and fibre.

Healthy, fun and delicious.

1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
220 grams Swiss Browns or portobella mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp sweet smoky paprika*
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
1 tsp sea salt with kelp*
about 25 twists of black pepper
2 Tbsp dry sherry or Port
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp tamari* or other naturally fermented soy sauce; or use Coconut Aminos*
chopped parsley or chives to garnish

In a medium cast iron fry pan, toast the walnuts over low-medium heat (no need for oil) about 5 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from pan.

In the same pan place the oil, onion, garlic. Cook over low heat until soft and sweet, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and additional oil. Cook about 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the rosemary, sage, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes.

Add the sherry or Port, tamari and vinegar. Cook 1 minute.

In a food processor, place the walnuts and everything else except the parsley. Briefly pulse until well chopped and combined, but not completely smooth. Pat into a small serving dish until the top is smooth. Cover and chill; keeps one week. Before serving, top with finely chopped parsley or chives. Serve at room temperature.

Shopping & Preparation Tips*

  • Coconut aminos: looks and tastes similar to soy sauce. Made instead from fermented coconut sap. In most supermarkets. Matakana brand is plain. Some brands such as Ceres add herbs, spices and a hint of chili.
  • Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil is achieved by using cold mechanical pressure rather than the high heat and chemical solvents typical to most supermarket oils. These practices damage oils and the people who eat them. For information on which fats to choose for which purpose and why, see my TIPS article: The Fats of Life.
  • Paprika: only use top quality smoky, sweet Spanish paprika such as La Chinata. This is sold in small decorative tins in the supermarket. Ordinary paprika is usually stale, pale and without the punchy vigour this product contributes.
  • Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.
  • Soy sauce/Tamari: can be a fake, unfermented concoction of caramel colouring, artificial additives, wheat and cheap salt. True soy sauce contains nothing artificial and is naturally brewed for two to three years. It is made by fermenting soybeans with a healthful mould (similar to making yoghurt or cheese); roasted grain – usually wheat or barley – for flavour and fermentation, plus salt. ‘Shoyu’ is the Japanese word for true fermented soy sauce. ‘Tamari’ describes naturally brewed soy sauce which does not contain wheat or other grain. In the supermarket look for organic Ceres brand, or plain only Kikkoman (their other varieties often contain artificial additives including MSG: TIPS).

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