Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #58

A stuffed egg (paprika mix), some grapes, mini toast squares, and mushroom walnut pate.

This is not much to look at, really, but it was amazing. Necessity was the mother of invention here; I had way too many mushrooms going south in my fridge. Just sautéed wasn't going to cut it or I'd be eating mushrooms atop things for a week.

A the suggestion of a friend, I Googled "mushroom pate." But I didn't actually have all the ingredients for any of the versions I saw. So I plunged ahead, and made this. This is my own mushroom pate.

Okay, so it's brown. And pureed. If you can overlook that, and enjoy the flavor, you won't be sorry. It's truly lovely.

Mushroom Walnut Pate
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

10 oz. mushrooms (I used about half white button mushrooms and half baby bella mushrooms)
1 baby leek (if you don't have one of these, just use about 1/2 cup of chopped leeks)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Cut the mushrooms up. Saute them in the butter until well cooked; set aside. Slice the leek thinly, then submerge in a bowl of water. Swirl around until the grit settles at the bottom. Carefully spoon out the leeks and strain them in a colander.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet you used for the mushrooms. Cook the leek and the garlic in this until quite soft, then add mushrooms and cook a bit more until the flavors meld (a total of about 5-8 minutes). Transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl.

Toast the walnuts in the skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the walnuts. Using a food processor or blender, finely chop the walnuts with the oil. Add vegetables, lemon juice, and herbs. Blend until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Chill for at least a half hour to thicken a little. Serve with toast or crackers.


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