I was looking for a meal idea based on a “centrepiece” dish, something that could be placed in the middle of the table to appreciative “oohs” and “ahs”, to be shared by all present 🙂
I found Rose Elliot’s fantastic Mushroom Pate en Croute and adapted it a little but the credit is all hers.
I’d also say that delicious as this is – and it’s impressive to look at too – it’s actually *much better if you leave it to cool overnight* in the fridge. The pastry and the mushroom filling will both firm up nicely, and it becomes easy to slice. It can be eaten cold too, so it’s great for packed lunches, picnics etc.
I updated this recipe in December 2017 to increase the flavours in the mushroom filling. And, mentioned on the original version, the filling mixture would make an excellent pâté too, in its own right. Just increase the quantities by half again, then store it in the fridge, covered, afterwards. It will keep for 3-4 days easily.
- 2 onions (red or white), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g mushrooms (any sort), roughly chopped
- 180g chestnuts – use tinned ones, or these pre-cooked packs (in UK, you can get them from Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys etc)
- Optional: red wine, about 3-4 tablespoons
- 100g cashews, blitzed in a food processor
- 50g ground almonds
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice and zest of a whole lemon
- Large handful of chopped fresh parsley (or use a tablespoon of dried mixed herbs)
- 1 tablespoon of Marmite
- Large handful of spinach or kale
- One pack of ready-made puff pastry (in UK, most supermarkets’ own-brand puff pastry is vegan and dairy-free)
- Soy milk, for brushing the pastry
- Optional: sesame seeds for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- In your favourite pan, fry together the onions, garlic, mushrooms and chestnuts for about 10 minutes on a medium heat until they are soft. If you have a little red wine, put that in too, It’s not essential but it will add to the flavour nicely. Then tip the mixture into a food processor and blend it to a purée.
- Put the cashew nuts and ground almonds into a bowl with the mushroom mixture, and add the breadcrumbs, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, parsley and Marmite. Mix well and season to taste. It probably won’t need salt: the soy and the Marmite are quite salty anyway.
- Roll out the puff pastry. Put the spinach or kale leaves in a line down the centre, then heap the filling mixture on top in a long line. It will make a worryingly large pile, probably 3-4cm high: don’t worry, this amount of filling is exactly right!
- Make diagonal cuts in the pastry about 2cm apart on each side of the filling, then fold these up over the mushroom pate to make a kind of plait effect. Tuck in the ends neatly, trim off any extra bits and brush with the soya milk. Sprinkle some sesame seeds artistically on the top.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry is, well, puffed and golden brown.
- Let it cool for a few minutes then serve with gravy, baby new potatoes, steamed green vegetables and all your other favourite side-dishes.