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 add that delicious as this is – and 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.
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 200g cashews, blitzed in a food processor
- 200g ground almonds
- 200g breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice of half a lemon, and the zest of half a lemon
- Large handful of finely chopped parsley (or use 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs)
- 1 tablespoon of Marmite
- One pack of puff pastry
- Soya milk, for brushing the pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
2. In your favourite pan, fry together the onions, garlic and mushrooms for about 10 minutes on a medium heat until they are soft. Then tip the mixture into a food processor and blend it to a purée.
3. Put the cashew nuts and ground almonds into a bowl with the mushroom mixture, the breadcrumbs, soy sauce, lemon juice, parsley and Marmite. Mix well and season to taste.
4. Roll out the puff pastry and pile the filling mixture in a line down the centre. It will make a worryingly large pile but fear not, this amount of filling is exactly right!
5. 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.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the puff pastry is, well, puffed and golden brown.