This gorgeous Mushroom Pate is a beautiful vegan pâté flavoured with wild mushrooms and a whisper of fragrant truffle oil. Serve with toasted sourdough and your favourite crackers, along with a glass of wine.
Begin by placing the wild mushrooms in 1 1/4 cups of boiling water.
Place the lentils in a saucepan and fill the saucepan with water. Place over a high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
Place a large frying pan over a medium low heat. Add 1 tbs of the olive oil and fry the shallot until golden. Remove from the pan and crank the heat up to medium high. Add half the remaining oil and cook half of the mushrooms until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and cook the remaining mushrooms with the remaining oil. Return the mushrooms and shallots to the pan. Add the cognac to the pan along with the garlic and thyme leaves. Cook until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Leave to cool.
Once the mushrooms have cooled place in a food processor with the drained lentils, cannellini beans, salt and truffle oil. Remove the dried mushrooms from the soaking liquid, keeping the soaking liquid for the jelly/jello topping. Process until it forms a spreadable paste (I like to leave a little texture in the mixture). Check the seasonings and adjust to taste. You can also add more truffle oil at this point as well. Keep in mind that the flavours won't be quite as distinct when the pate is cold, so you may need a little more seasoning and truffle oil than if you were eating it at room temperature.
Divide the mixture between 2 jars (or whatever serving dish you want) and refrigerate.
To make the jelly (jello) topping place the reserved mushroom soaking liquid in a saucepan along with the soy sauce and agar and whisk to combine. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pate from the refrigerator and pour over the top. Add a few thyme leaves and refrigerate until set.
Serve with your favourite crackers, toast or favourite vegetables.
You can make this pate up to 2 days ahead. When selecting a truffle oil for this recipe I'd suggest staying away from the synthetically flavoured kind. While more expensive, real truffle oil tastes so much better.