1 to 2 ounces dried shiitake, morel, and/or porcini mushrooms (optional; see notes)
1 pound fresh shiitake, oyster, cremini, or common mushrooms
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup unsalted or salted roasted pistachios or almonds (see notes)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Sliced baguettes (toasted if desired) or crackers
How to Make It
If using dried mushrooms, place in a bowl and cover with 2 cups hot water. Let stand until soft, 15 to 30 minutes. Squeeze mushrooms under water to release any grit, then lift out and rinse thoroughly under running water, gently rubbing to release any remaining grit; discard soaking water. If using shiitakes, trim off and discard tough stems; coarsely chop mushrooms.
Meanwhile, rinse fresh mushrooms. If using shiitakes, trim off and discard tough stems. Coarsely chop mushrooms.
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, melt butter. Add fresh and soaked dried mushrooms, shallots, garlic, curry powder, and cumin; stir often until all liquid is evaporated and mixture is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a food processor, whirl nuts until finely ground. Add oil and whirl until mixture forms a paste. Add mushroom mixture and whirl until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mound in a bowl.
Sprinkle with parsley. Serve pâté with baguette slices or crackers.
Makes a lot. This is a hit every time. I like it because it works for vegetarians, even those that are vegan** but it has such a robust flavor (use optional dry mushrooms) that omnivores like it too. Also, make ahead. Yay!
** use a vegan substitute like Earth Balance
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