Looking for an interesting appetizer for the Canadian Lentils contest I wanted to do something very different. The earthiness of mushrooms seemed like a natural paring with lentils, some shallots garlic and thyme with a hit of lemon was the perfect balance. It felt like a winner! A quintessential example of umami.
Lentil Mushroom Pate
2 cups of dried mushrooms
3/4 pound of white button mushrooms
4 tablespoons of butter
4 shallots, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoons of fresh thyme, minced
3/4 cup of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of green lentil puree
2 tablespoons of whipping cream
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soften for 15 minutes, Drain through a coffee filter lined mesh strainer reserving liquid. For this recipe I used dried porcini, oyster, shiitake and yellow bolete mushrooms.
Pulse all the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped.
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cook until shallots are soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a few minutes.
Now add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom water and cook off until it is evaporated. Take off the heat and add the lentils, cream cheese, whipping cream, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl lined with plastic wrap with enough to cover the surface. Refrigerate a few hours until firm.
Allow to warm to room temperature to serve. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme.
Great with a nice crusty baguette.