I’m a huge fan of dips and spreads, and am always looking to expand my repertoire.  After a long day of cycling, I was craving something nutty.  Peanut butter?! No, I’m far too gluttonous and irresponsible when it comes to peanut butter.  I looked in my fridge, finding mushrooms and a bit of tofu, and pate immediately came to my mind.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent a bit of time in England, home of the temple of tasty foods: Waitrose grocery store.  Never in my life had I tried pate; all I thought of was parts of animals that I didn’t even want to know people consumed.  Last summer, however, J and I found a vegetarian mushroom pate in the refrigerated dips section- the English are very good at marking what’s “Suitable for Vegetarians”.  It was absolutely incredible, and we devoured it with only a single packet of crackers.  Flash forward to gazing at my nearly empty fridge, and it me: I can make that. With minimal ingredients and hardly any time, this recipe makes for a quick and easy snack that you can take to a party or munch on for days…or maybe hours.  Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: about 7 minutes

Cool time: at least 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c almonds or walnuts (your choice), more for a crunchy pate
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 100 g firm tofu
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • *To make this recipe non-vegan, add 100 g cream cheese

Method:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Once heated, add garlic, mushrooms, and onion.  Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Put the mixture and tofu into a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until cohesive.  Then, add your nuts, salt, and pepper, and blend again.  Mix until you achieve your desired consistency- I like mine pretty blended with a few chunks of nuts.  Move your pate to a separate dish, and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes before serving.  You want the ingredients to bind a bit and for your spread to coagulate, rather than being completely smooth like a dip. I refrigerated mine for a day before eating, and it still tasted fresh.

Yields about 1 1/2 cups