Christmas Kitchen: Truffled Mushroom Pâté

Are you the type of family who has a starter on Christmas Day? We don’t, because we’ve already had buttermilk waffles, bacon, Bucks Fizz and probably a fair few Christmas stocking chocolates by lunch time.

However, we do in a normal year have a few people over for lunch in the run up to Christmas, so I thought today I would post this delicious Truffled Mushroom Pâté recipe we gave a go from BBC Good Food Magazine last year when we had our neighbours over for a vegetarian festive lunch. I’ve adapted it to be a smaller batch recipe, perfect either for your own small scale celebration this year if you’re a starter sort of family, or to bookmark for next year if entertaining is more your thing!

This is a great make-ahead starter that you can make the day before, can be made totally vegetarian using vegetarian parmesan, and as they did in the magazine, can instead be spread on little toast squares topped with a couple of cornichon slithers and served as a canapé. I however serve it like this, in peppercorn-spiced butter topped ramekins and with little toast squares and cornichon on the side.

By the way, the very best cornichons (little ones, rather than big kosher dill pickles) come from France, I love Maille brand you can get in their online shop or on Amazon (ad) and Fallot brand, which you can find in Waitrose, on Ocado or again, on Amazon (ad).

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Truffled Mushroom Pâté

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour (plus cooling and chilling time)
  • Yield: Serves 34 1x
  • Category: Starter
  • Method: Make Ahead
  • Cuisine: French

Description

This easy Truffled Mushroom Pâté recipe is the perfect make-ahead vegetarian starter for your next festive gathering! You can also use the pâté to make easy canapés for your next holiday party.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Truffled Mushroom Pâté

  • 25g (3/4 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
  • large knob unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot
  • sea salt
  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 30g (1 oz) freshly grated parmesan (make sure this is vegetarian if this matters to you!)
  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) mascarpone (exactly half a tub)
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp truffle oil

For the Spiced Butter Topping

  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil
  • flaky sea salt
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • pinch pink peppercorns
  • pinch green peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Pour boiling water over the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and set aside to soak.
  2. Heat the butter until foaming in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Peel and finely chop the shallot, and fry it with a generous pinch of salt for about 10 minutes until translucent, but not yet starting to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the chestnut mushrooms. Add these to the pan, and cook gently for 20 minutes.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, drain the porcini mushrooms and finely chop these too – don’t pour the soaking liquid away, it is delicious in place of stock in a mushroom risotto, and freezes beautifully.
  5. Add the chopped porcini and cook for a further 5 minutes. Peel and crush the garlic, adding that to the pan and cooking for a further minute or two until aromatic. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes or so.
  6. Combine the cooked mushrooms, parmesan, mascarpone, vinegar and a good amount of seasoning in a food processor, blitzing until smooth. Scrape down the edges with a spatula and blitz again, gradually pouring in the truffle oil. Check the seasoning before dividing between 3-4 ramekins (I just go with how many portions I need!) and set aside.
  7. To make the spiced butter topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it has clarified. This means that the solids have sunk to the bottom and the clear yellow butter has floated to the top. Remove from the heat and pour the clear clarified butter off into a small jug – I catch any odd bits of solids by doing this through a small pastry sieve.
  8. Stir the truffle oil into the clarified butter and pour this over the top of each portion of pâté to create a seal. Lightly crust the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, and sprinkle these, along with the thyme leaves and a sprinkling of sea salt over each portion, allowing it to sink into the butter. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours until set, but bring back up to room temperature before serving.

Notes

This recipe can be easily doubled, but if you do this use a mezzaluna to chop the mushrooms or else you’ll be there forever!

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