Recipes

Grandpa Maurice’s Famous Mushroom Paté

For the longest time, my grandfather’s mushroom paté, or as we usually call it, “mushroom stuff” was pretty much the only way I’d swallow a mushroom.  Mushroom stuff as my grandfather made it was a combination of sautéed mushrooms and onions, mayonnaise, and a hard-boiled egg.  While this is an acceptable vegetarian take on chopped liver, converting even liver fans like my dad’s side of the family, it definitely wasn’t vegan.

Mushroom paté

The Eternal Egg Question

Replacing egg and mayonnaise on Pesach is more challenging than any other time of the year.  First, for the egg, I decided to use soaked cashews, to give the paté the same kind of body that the egg brings.  

To replace the mayonnaise, I went for the flavors of mayo, namely, fat in the form of olive oil, and some tang, in the form of red wine vinegar.  For a little extra “eggy” punch, I like to season the paté with Indian black salt (kala namak), which tastes exactly how I remember sunny-side-up eggs…because I also used to douse my egg yolks in salt.

Grandpa Maurice circa 1991

The Taste Test

The result tastes almost exactly how I remember Grandpa’s paté tasting.  It’s good enough, that some years it’s the only mushroom stuff we decided to serve.  My version is punctuated by the sweet richness of the fried mushrooms and onions, mixed with a little tang from the vinegar, all married together in a smooth and creamy dip.  It’s perfect for spreading onto matzah, whether it’s as an appetizer, at your seder, or a part of your mid-Pesach lunch.

A Very Shtetl Pesach. Fiddler On The Roof cast (including shtetl Ashley front and almost center) at Columbia University, April 2010

Grandpa Maurice was far from vegan, but he always appreciated good food. I like to imagine he would be proud of my interpretation.  He died a little bit before I really started cooking for myself, so I never really got to share my culinary creations with him. Even so, I love that I can still enjoy the food he made for us, even if it is adapted to fit my lifestyle.

Mushroom and Onion Paté

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A creamy spread punctuated by the sweet richness of the fried mushrooms and onions, mixed with a little tang from the vinegar, all married together in a smooth and creamy dip. It's perfect for spreading onto matzah, whether it's as an appetizer, at your seder, or a part of your mid-Pesach lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large white or yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours or overnight
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp kosher for Passover red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black salt (or to taste)
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, and sweat slowly for about 5-7 minutes until translucent.  

2

Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have cooked down, and the mixture is golden brown and fragrant. The volume of vegetables in the pan should be considerably reduced from when you started.  

3

Let cool for at least 10 minutes.  

4

Put the mushroom and onion mixture into a food processor, then drain the cashews, and add them as well.

5

Begin to chop the mixture in the processor, and stream in the oil and vinegar while the machine is running.  

6

Add the salt and pepper, and pulse again to combine.  Taste for seasoning.  

7

The mixture should be chopped very, very finely, and should be fairly smooth (but not entirely pureed).  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

I'm giving quantities for a fairly small amount of paté, but this recipe is very easily increased.  It also does not need to be super precise, so feel free to play with the seasonings according to your tastes.

You can find more holiday inspiration in my Big Vegan Passover Post

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    scrappyrn
    April 7, 2014 at 5:23 am

    I am sure Grandpa Maurice would be very proud. He would taste everything you make.

  • Reply
    grammalorig@gmail.com
    April 8, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Sent from Windows Mail

  • Reply
    Vegan Passover (פסח טבעוני) | Tipsy Shades of Earl Grey
    April 3, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    […] Grandpa Maurice’s Mushroom Paté […]

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