Cook the Book: Mushroom Pâté

And, as promised, here's your first recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It's for a mushroom pâté that would be wonderful at your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.

Serve it on crackers or toast or in canapés. You could also use it as a sandwich filling.


  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • About 2 pounds cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried porcini (optional), reconstituted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs or crumbled crackers, plus more as needed
  • Finely chopped chives or parsley leaves for garnish
  • About 1/2 large loaf of French or Italian bread, preferably a day or two old


  1. 1.

  2. 2.

  3. 3.

    Spoon the pâté mixture into a terrine or ramekin(s) and refrigerate until chilled. Serve at room temperature, garnished with chives or parsley. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  4. 4.

    Lentil Pâté: Green, brown, or red lentils work fine: Substitute 2 cups cooked and drained lentils, reserving some of the cooking liquid, for the mushrooms including the porcini. Add a couple teaspoons minced garlic and a curry powder or garam masala if you like, especially with the red lentils.

  5. 5.

    Walnut Pâté: Not as smooth as mushroom pâé, but quite rich and deliciously nutty in flavor. Substitute 2 cups shelled walnuts for the mushrooms, including the porcini. Omit the tomato paste and add 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves. No need to cook the walnuts in Step 1. Proceed with the recipe.

  6. 6.

    Reconstituting Dried Mushrooms

  7. 7.

  8. 8.

    Chinese dried shiitakes are a slightly different story; they must be soaked in boiling-hot water (you might even have to change the water once to get them soft), and they need to be trimmed assiduously. One way to deal with all of this is to cook them in stock (or Kombu Dashi), then cool, trim, and use them; the process will enhance both stock and mushrooms.

  9. 9.

    Fresh Bread Crumbs

  10. 10.

    - makes about 2 cups -

  11. 11.

    Tear the bread into pieces and put about half in a food processor. Pulse a few times, then let the machine run for a few seconds, until coarsely chopped.

  12. 12.

    Remove and repeat with the remaining bread. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a month.

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