Walnut Mushroom SPREAD

Walnut Mushroom SPREAD

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


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. 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.
  3. Coarsely chop soaked mushrooms and set aside.
  4. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until nuts are toasted. Set aside to cool.
  5. In food processor, finely chop garlic and then add shallots until coarsely chopped and set aside.
  6. Clean mushrooms and cut in half. Now process by pulsing a number of times to coarsely chop, but do not over-process.
  7. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.