This is a rich, earthy very umami vegan spread. It creates beautiful crudit’s when spread on crackers garnished with a slice of brightly coloured vegetables such as peppers, a sprig of herbs or a garnish of shredded celery root. It also makes a great spread for sandwiches or on toasted baguette. Walnuts are one of the best ?brain foods?. Of all the nuts, they have the highest amount of the anti-inflammatory omega-3s. The nutritional yeast here provides a cheese-like flavor and good dose of B vitamins ? particularly B12, which is rare to find in plant foods ? and the hemp hearts add protein power to the mix.
- 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots (or onions)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms (about 400 grams), cut in half
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp miso or tamari
- 1/4 tsp thyme or tarragon
- 2 Tbsp marsala (or sherry or reserved porcini liquid)
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Re-hydrate the porcini mushrooms: Rinse dried mushrooms and place in a glass cup or bowl. Add lukewarm water to cover and let sit until soft, about 20 – 30 minutes. Rinse mushrooms, saving this flavourful liquid in small bowl. Strain liquid through paper coffee filter (or fine strainer) to catch any dirt/grime and set liquid aside. This mushroom water is very flavourful and can be saved to be used in soups and for cooking grains or risotto.
- Coarsely chop soaked mushrooms and set aside.
- Spread walnuts on baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until nuts are toasted. Set aside to cool.
- In food processor, finely chop garlic and then add shallots until coarsely chopped and set aside.
- Clean mushrooms and cut in half. Now process by pulsing a number of times to coarsely chop, but do not over-process.
- In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often.
- Next add both kinds of chopped mushroom and salt and turn heat a bit lower. You may need to add a bit more oil. Saut? until mushrooms are cooked, about 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Now add thyme/tarragon, marsala and miso. You can use a small amount of reserved mushroom liquid if it looks too dry. Continue cooking for another few minutes and set aside.
- Add walnuts to food processor and then cooked mushroom mixture. Pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped (like an olive tapenade consistency), taking care to NOT pur?e.
- Stir in nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper to taste. 11 Allow to cool to room temperature.
This keeps for about a week. When serving, garnish with parsley.