Mushroom pate is the perfect vegetarian starter. Here chef Chantell Nicholson from Tredwell’s restaurant in London shows how to make her signature recipe. She says, “fermenting is a great technique to enhance the savouriness and overall flavour of ingredients. In this recipe, the fermentation intensifies the umami flavour in the mushrooms, creating a rich and delicious pȃté. Lapsang Souchong tea has a wonderful smokiness so together, this is a great combo. I serve it with seeded crackers or a good sourdough, sliced and toasted. Note that the best flavour will come from a 3 day fermentation, so you will need to plan ahead to make this.” Her recipe serves eight people.
For the mushroom pȃté:
- 250g Chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
- 300g flat cap mushrooms, finely sliced
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- ½ bunch thyme, plus an extra sprig for garnishing
- 50ml olive oil
- 100ml rice, soya or oat milk
- 25ml Madeira
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- freshly milled black pepper
- 50g non dairy butter
For the Lapsang Souchong jelly:
- 1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea
- 1/2 6.5g sachet Vege-Gel
- 25ml Madeira
- 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- sourdough croutons, or crackers, to serve
Place all ingredients for the mushroom pȃté in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix everything together and massage the mushrooms so they begin to break down.
Place in a glass jar and pack tight. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for 3 days.
Pour the contents of the jar into a colander and allow the majority of the liquid to drain off, reserve the liquid and set aside. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate to high heat. Add the contents of the colander. Cook the mushrooms for 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the reserved liquid from the fermentation and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Remove the thyme stalks from the pan then place the contents of the saucepan into a blender. Blend until smooth and transfer to a dish, approximately 19cm x 12cm. With the back of a spoon, or knife, smooth the top and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
For the jelly, bring 250ml water to the boil. Add the tea and Vege Gel, whisk well and leave to sit for 6 minutes. Whisk well then strain through a fine sieve. Add the Madeira and maple syrup.
Remove the pȃté from the fridge and carefully pour the jelly on top. Pick the leaves from the reserved thyme and place on top of the jelly. Refrigerate for a further hour, then serve.