Vegan Walnut Mushroom Pâté

Pâté can be baked and served sliced, or it can be soft and spreadable, like chicken liver mousse. My original recipe, created in the 1980s to seduce gourmets who scoffed at the very idea of meatless pâté, was a loaf that included mushrooms, chestnuts, cashews, grated cheese, black bread whirled to crumbs, and more, baked in a long, rectangular pâté mold.

To suit today’s interests in vegan dishes and easy cooking, I decided to do a spreadable pâté made on top of the stove. Sautéed mushrooms look, taste, and even have a texture that is mildly meaty, so I kept them as the base, in a combination of three kinds, including fresh and dried. I added lots of shallots for moisture as well as flavor. Ground walnuts bring the creamy richness essential to pâté while adding good fat instead of the heart-stopping kind. For flavor depth, I included lots of thyme. For a final touch, I added a splash of soy sauce to bring umami, the indefinable fifth flavor that makes everything taste even better.

Walnut Mushroom Pâté

Makes 1 ¾ cups
Mushroom and Walnut Pate



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread walnuts on baking sheet. Stir and toast 5 minutes, until nuts are colored and fragrant. Transfer nuts to plate, cool and set aside.
  3. In small bowl, soak dried mushrooms in water until soft, 20–30 minutes. When soft, squeeze mushrooms until dry, catching liquid in small bowl. Strain liquid through paper coffee filter or fine strainer and set liquid aside. Coarsely chop soaked mushrooms and set aside.
  4. In food processor, combine half fresh mushrooms with shallots, garlic, and half soaked wild mushrooms. Pulse to chop very fine, 20 times; take care not to overprocess. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushroom mixture, mixing to combine with oil. In food processor, finely chop remaining fresh and soaked mushrooms, then add to pan. (Do not clean out food processor.) Cook until mushrooms look wet, 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add thyme, soy sauce, and reserved mushroom liquid. Continue cooking until mushrooms are golden and cling together, 8 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Add walnuts to food processor, and then cooked mushrooms. Pulse until mushroom-walnut mixture is nubbly; do not purée. Turn warm pâté into serving bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Or season pâté and cool to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Garnish with parsley and serve with toast points, crackers, or pita chips.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving (1 tablespoon)

Calories: 25
Total fat: 2 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Carbohydrate: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 1 g
Sodium: 10 mg

Garden Party of Four

Host a chilled-out garden party with four fresh and cool soups.

Gazpacho Grandé
(Makes 5 servings)

Put each vegetable separately in food processor fitted with steel blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Do not overmix. After each vegetable is processed, combine in large bowl and add garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir and chill for 4 hours before serving.
Per serving
Calories: 165
Fat: 11 g
Protein: 2.5 g
Carbohydrate: 14 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 1106 mg, *without adding kosher salt: 399 mgRecipe courtesy

A to Z Soup (Avocado Zucchini Soup)

Avocado Zucchini Soup
Avocado Zucchini Soup (Photo © the California Avocado Commission)

(Makes 4 servings)

In large pot with lid, heat 1 cup broth, onion, green onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for
15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add remaining broth and zucchini and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and allow to cool. In food processor, purée zucchini, broth, and avocado in batches. Return to pan; stir gently. Serve in soup bowls and garnish to taste.
Per serving:
Calories: 200
Fat: 13 g
Protein: 10 g
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 470 mgRecipe © The California Avocado Commission

Cool Cucumber Soup
(Makes 4 servings)

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Transfer to bowl, stir, and chill. Serve topped with any of the following: chopped cucumber, fresh dill or mint, dollop of sour cream or yogurt, diced avocado, snipped chives, or green onions.
Per serving:
Calories: 171
Fat: 3 g
Protein: 15 g
Carbohydrate: 21 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 145 mg

MMM… Soup (Mango-Melon-Mint)
(Makes 4 servings)

Purée all ingredients in food processor or blender and chill for 2 to 3 hours. Pour into glass bowls, garnish with mint leaves, and serve.
Per serving
Calories: 121
Fat: 0.5 g
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 27 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 21 mg