Wild Mushroom Pate


The pate, which should be chilled for at least eight hours, may be made up to one day ahead. Serve with toast points made from thin-sliced white sandwich bread; remove crusts, and toast just until golden.


  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 ½ pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, portobello, and white button, cleaned and chopped into medium pieces, plus 14 to 16 small button mushrooms, halved, for garnish

  • 6 scallions, white and pale-green parts, cut across in ¼-inch piece or 3 medium shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • cup dry sherry, or Madeira

  • 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Dash Tabasco sauce

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking pan. Bake until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer walnuts to a bowl; set aside to cool. Finely chop, and reserve.

  2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms, scallions, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been released and skillet becomes almost dry, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and sherry. Cook until skillet is almost dry, about 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, and let cool.

  3. In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture with reserved walnuts, parsley, lemon juice, Tabasco, and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Line a 3-cup mold with plastic wrap, allowing for a 4-inch overhang on all sides. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the pan. Cover with overhanging plastic, and firmly press down all over terrine with hands; spread mixture as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  5. Just before serving, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet, and cook halved mushrooms just until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Unwrap chilled terrine, and invert it onto a small serving platter. Surround with cooked mushroom halves, and thyme leaves. Serve with toast points, water biscuits, or any plain cracker.


Serves 1 to 2 dozen. 1 cup walnuts; 2 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms; 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves; juice of 1 lemon

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