Mushroom Hazelnut “Pate”

Courtesy of the Mushroom Council and Savour-Fare

 

Ingredients:

½ ounce mixed wild dried mushrooms (my daughter often throws these in the shopping cart – the one I use is a blend of dried shiitake, porcini, oyster and wood ear mushrooms)
1/ 4 c. boiling water
1 lb cremini mushrooms
2 large or 3 small shallots
3 T butter
1 c. whole hazelnuts
2 T olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Salt to taste

Directions:

1) Rehydrate the dried mushrooms by soaking them in a bowl with the boiling water until the mushrooms are plump and soft.

2) Wash the cremini mushrooms by passing them under running water (contrary to myth, this won’t make them spongy.  But it will make them clean), and remove the stems.

3) In a food processor, combine the rehydrated mushrooms with the water they soaked in, the cremini mushroom caps, and the shallots (peeled).  Pulse until everything is finely chopped.

4) In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the mushroom mixture and a large pinch of salt, and sauté over low heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown  and any liquid that has been released during cooking has evaporated.

5) Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts and remove the skins (rubbing them in a mesh bag that originally held onions or garlic works wonderfully).

6) In the food processor (you don’t have to clean it thoroughly; it’s OK if there are still bits of mushrooms in there for this step), process the nuts until finely chopped and start to form a paste.  With the mixer running, pour the olive oil through the tube and process until the nuts are smooth.  Add the mushroom mixture and continue to process until the mixture is homogeneous and resembles a loose pate.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to taste.

7) Put the mushroom pate into a jar or crock and chill before serving.  Serve with good crusty bread or crackers to mushroom lovers and picky children.

 

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