Mushroom pâté is a go-to dish when you have gathered a mixed basket of wild mushrooms — this vegan take on the ever-popular starter adds in another foraged ingredient for a fresh twist.
With the exception of a few species of either fragile or more gelatinous mushrooms that are best used only as stocks or soup thickeners, the majority of edible wild mushrooms make a good contribution to a mixed pâté. In this way, it is a flexible dish that offers a quick and easy means of making good use of whatever species you have to hand..
While vegetarian pâtés often incorporate cream cheese for texture and spreadability, the options for a vegan pate are a bit more limited. Nuts are a useful alternative for adding both density and oil, which creates a smoother dish. This recipe makes use of sweet chestnuts, which are a broadly available nut that is easily foraged, but can also be found in supermarkets. Walnuts can also be used as an alternative in the same quantity.
250g mixed wild mushrooms
150g roasted and peeled sweet chestnuts, sliced
1 large shallot or medium onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp English mustard
2 small handfuls chopped fresh herbs eg thyme, rosemary and parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying
Score an X on the flattest surface of each of the sweet chestnuts and roast on a baking tray at 200deg for 20mins. Wearing cotton gloves, peel while still warm. Allow to cool, then chop.
Add the roasted chestnuts to a pan and add a slug of olive oil, lightly brown over a medium heat for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
Add some more olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion/shallot and garlic until the onions have softened and turned translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the mushrooms have softened and reduce in size.
Add the mushroom mix and chestnuts to a food processor. If your food processor can’t handle hot food, wait until the mixture has cooled.
Pulse the mix into a pâté texture, stopping to scrape the sides as you go.
Smooth into a container using a spatula and chill in the fridge. The pate should last 2-3 days in an airtight container or can be frozen.
Discover more about wild edibles and recipes on a foraging course
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!