Vegetable Pate


1 teaspoon to 2 sea salt, to taste
1 pound carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
2 pounds mushrooms, including stems
2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry
2 cups bars agar-agar or ½ agar flakes
1/2 pound firm tofu
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus additional dill for garnish


Trim ends of broccoli stalks; peel. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces and separate the florets. Slice the carrots.
Bring 2 quarts water to boil, add 1 tsp of the salt, and cook the broccoli at a slow boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Return the water to a boil, add the carrots and cook for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and chop the mushrooms finely in a food processor. Place them in a cloth dish towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid; set aside. Peel and mince the shallots; set aside.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan heat the olive oil and saute the shallots over medium heat until transparent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove half of the shallots and reserve. Add the mushrooms to the saucepan and saute on medium-high heat to remove all excess moisture, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mirin and stir for a few moments. Remove from the heat.
Soften the agar bars under cold running water. In a 2-quart saucepan, simmer in the reserved vegetable cooking liquid until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Keep warm on the stove, covered.
Puree the cooked broccoli in a food processor. You should have about 2 cups. Cut the tofu into 3 equal pieces. Add the reserved shallots, 1 piece of the tofu, 1/2 cup of the dissolved agar, sea salt to taste, and the lemon juice. Process again briefly to taste and adjust the seasonings. Spread this mixture into the bottom of a well-oiled 6-cup pate mold or 9-x5-inch loaf pan.
In a food processor, combine the sauteed mushrooms with a piece of the remaining tofu and 1/2 cup of the dissolved agar; puree. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Spread this mixture over the broccoli in the mold, pressing down well.
Puree the cooked carrots in the food processor. You should have about 2 cups. Add the remaining tofu and agar and blend. Stir in the chopped dill. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Spread this mixture over the mushrooms, pressing down well.
Chill the pate until well set, about 3 hours. Unmold onto a platter, garnish with dill sprigs, and serve.




From The Natural Gourmet by Annemarie Colbin.


10.0 to 12


Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 5:53pm


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