the mushroom dilemma


mushrooms are tricky things in our house. i like them, but i think i like them more than i do which leads to disasters such as garlicky mushrooms on toast. and adding spinach to this was a real disaster. somehow, dishes with mushrooms as the focus make me feel overly full, add spinach, which i already find rich, and it’s just asking for trouble.

mushroom risotto or stroganoff on the other hand makes me happy. but david’s not keen when mushrooms are the focus of a dish…add to the mix an enormous bag of porcini that i bought back from italy last year (and am still working my way through) and the fact that lovely friends often give me bags of dried mushrooms as a dinner party thank you gift, and you’ve got a girl with a lot of mushrooms and not a lot of ideas.

actually, that’s not true, i always have ideas, it’s more the need for ideas which work for both of our odd mushroom requirements…

this mushroom pate wasn’t a success on the basis of those criteria but it was very nice. in my opinion and especially on toasted sour dough bread for breakfast.

next on my list is mushroom lasagne. i just need david to be away when i have people round so i can test it out!

mushroom pate

40g butter

2 shallots

15g dried porcini, soaked in boiling water until soft

175g mushrooms (i used large field mushrooms)

1 tablespoon marsala wine

4 tablespoons double cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

blitz the shallots in a food processor. fry them in the melted butter until soft.

drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, blitz the porcini then add to the shallots and fry them, stirring regularly for a few minutes.

blitz the mushrooms and add them to the pan, fry for a few minutes then add the marsala. after another minute strain and then add the soaking liquid and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated.

add the cream and parsley. season to taste, eat within a week and store in the fridge.