simple mushroom pâté | the vanilla bean blog

Fifteen years ago I never would have imagined I might one day be sitting on my couch, writing a blog post. It’s possible I hadn’t even heard the word ‘blog’ and if I had, I would have thought it belonged in the same kind of category as ‘moist’ and ‘curdle’ and ‘pâté’. Also, I would not be eating mushrooms and especially not mushrooms in a pâté. That would have set my naive taste buds over the edge. But, thankfully, there is always hope for one to change. About fifteen years ago I was attending a small party at a family friend’s house; a house where I had spent a good portion of my childhood eating meals, spending nights, and sharing secrets, and found myself confronted with just that: mushroom pâté. It was sitting there, right there in the center of the table, surrounded by fancy cheeses and breads, various dips and foods to dip in the dips; and even though I wasn’t sure what it was at first glance, I knew it was something to avoid. I actually felt terrified when my host told me about it, certain it involved some kind of meat tube like my Grandmother kept in her fridge. My friend’s mother sidled right up and knowing me well (she had, after all, put up with my picky eating at countless sleepovers), encouraged me to try it. But my ten-year-old self had emerged and I stubbornly shook my head. She went on to politely insist, so there at her get-together I tried to act one-and-twenty and swallow what I was most afraid of. Low and behold the pâté was delicious, and I went home with the recipe stuffed in my coat pocket and a door wide open to a new world of food.

So now here I am, blogging about mushroom pâté. Really, it’s amazing how much we evolve when we are willing to take some risks and approach things differently. I try to remember this at every big twist and turn, but find it most important (although hardest) in the simple moments, those small gatherings.
simple mushroom pâté | the vanilla bean blog
simple mushroom pâté | the vanilla bean blog
‘Love will creep where it cannot go, will accomplish that by imperceptible methods,- being its own lever, fulcrum, and power, – which force could never achieve. Have you not seen the woods, in a late autumn morning, a poor fungus or mushroom, – a plant without any solidity, nay, that seemed nothing but a soft mush or jelly,-by its constant, total, and inconceivably gentle pushing, manage to break its way up through the frosty ground and to actually lift a hard crust on its head? It is the symbol of power of kindness.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Man the Reformer, A Lecture

simplel mushroom pâté | the vanilla bean blog

Mushroom Pâté

I’ve tinkered with this recipe quite a bit, although it’s adapted from the original version Mrs. P. gave me years ago. Her version uses butter instead of olive oil, Boursin garlic and  herb cheese instead of goat cheese, and cream cheese instead of sour cream. I’ve tried to lighten things up here a bit, and think my version is just as good, but feel free to swap what you want. I also used herbed goat cheese – we’ve had a rough spring and none of my herbs are coming up yet, let alone are planted. You can use plain goat cheese and add herbs that you like, if you’d rather do that. I suggest serving this with bread or toast, but it would also taste good on other things as well! On a pizza, stirred into eggs or frittata, on your morning bagel…

1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dry sherry
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature (see note)
4 ounces sour cream (or yogurt)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute 8-10 minutes until the liquid from the mushrooms has released and then evaporated. Add the garlic and sherry and stir until the garlic is fragrant and the sherry has evaporated, about one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Add the cooled mushrooms, goat cheese, sour cream, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve with fresh bread, toast, or crackers.
simple mushroom pâté | the vanilla bean blog

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17 Responses to simple mushroom pâté (or, mushroom goat cheese spread)

  1. Sarah says:

    I had the exact same mushroom and weird meats phobia. But now I love the sound of this! On some crusty toast? Perfect alongside a crisp white wine. Our capacity for change is one of the greatest human traits.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Oh yes, I totally understand that phobia. I still sometimes get squicked out by the idea of pate if I think too much about it! You’re so right though – sometimes you need to approach things differently and great things will come.

  3. Isn’t it wonderful how you can grow and change your ideas about things? I was a pretty fussy eater when I was little too but now I love trying new things!

  4. Elaina says:

    LOVE this post, the story and the recipe! I think it’s so sweet how you resisted (as most kids would’ve, then left pleased) I grew up with pâté, so I can`t really remember my first experience, but I would hope that I was brave like you! 😉 x

  5. Shanna says:

    It feels so funny to me to look back. I totally didn’t know what blogs were 15 years ago! I distinctly remember in grad school.. probably six years ago?… the professor asking if any of us read blogs, and I was one of two who raised our hands. I was only reading friends’ blogs about their kids or whatever, but still. How times have changed! It amazes me.

    Also, count me in the formerly a mushroom hater camp as well. Glad that’s changed, too.

  6. So lovely, so many roads are open to us when we brave our fears. Sounds cliché but it’s just so true. So many fears I have yet to brave… Thank you for the inspiration. And for this lovely pâté.

  7. […] Pate. Does she still make that? I am not sure. I do quite fancy making my own Mushroom Pate though. The Vanilla Bean blog is going to tell me how. Slathered on crusty bread, t’will be a treat, I tell […]

  8. Kate says:

    Hi, how long would this last once made? or is it a make & eat straight away?
    Thansk

  9. carey says:

    Oh man, how I so completely understand that food phobia resurgence. (When I read the part about the polite insistence, it made me start sweating a little.) But it’s amazing what can happen when you overcome those fears (whether through your own volition or a wee bit of outside pressure) and try something new and so shockingly delicious!

    I can recall disliking mushrooms when I was little, but I have no idea when or how that dislike changed to serious love. But mushroom pâté = the best. I’ve had my fair share of the meaty stuff, and it’s ok……ish. I don’t enjoy that metallic organ taste (ick), so I’d take the mushroom version over the liver-y stuff any day of the week.

  10. Kankana says:

    About two and half years back I used to eat to live. I had just enough time to prepare what i knew and would never ever think of exploring. There was no interest at all. Never in my dream would I have thought my life to turn around so much and revolve around food so much. I love it, no regret. Now I live to eat and I don’t judge any food before taking few bites 🙂

    Mushroom pate – never had that before and looking forward to give it a try.

  11. Joan says:

    I love pate. I love mushrooms. This sounds delicious and can’t wait to give it a try. Your story was so fun to read. Enjoyed it immensely.

  12. Sonja says:

    I am also a former mushroom hater! Sounds like I’m in good company 🙂 The funny thing is that I turned from a hater into a lover, and now they’re one of my favorite foods! This pate looks wonderful.

  13. Sam says:

    This looks magnificent! I’ve been searching for a vegetarian pate for a long time. I too am a recent convert to mushrooms 🙂

  14. Az says:

    Love the post and the recipe, hope I can learn to grow mushrooms soon, want to share another site I was reading for all mushroom lovers out there – http://www.mushroomsource.ca

  15. […] This week’s Pinterest-ing comes from The Vanilla Bean Blog: Simple Mushroom Pâté. […]

  16. […] Inspired by TheVanillaBeanBlog […]

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