Garlic Mushroom Pâté

Let me begin by telling you that once I’d made this, I couldn’t stop eating it – it’s that good. Creamy, garlicky cheese combined with buttery mushrooms, thyme and lemon juice makes for a fabulously savoury pâté that’s perfect on toast or crackers. You could also add it to freshly cooked pasta (with a little of the pasta water) and mix through for a really yummy instant sauce. 

150g white mushrooms
50g dried porcini mushrooms
100g soft garlicky cheese such as Boursin
Lemon juice
A small pinch of sugar

Start by popping the dried porcini mushrooms into a jug or bowl with just enough water to cover them, then set them aside to rehydrate. The reason I specify dried porcini mushrooms here (apart from the fact that they’re easier to get) is that the soaking liquid is handy to add to the pâté at the end, to punch up the flavour and get the texture right.

Next, chop the white mushrooms very finely, and then pop them into a small saucepan with a generous scoop of butter and a sprinkling of dried thyme, and set the heat to medium. Let the mushrooms sizzle and soften for a bit – they really suck up moisture so you’ll probably have to add more butter. After a little while they’ll get to the stage where they start releasing the liquid again, and when this happens you can take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes.

Now, add the soft cheese, a dash of lemon juice and a (very) small pinch of sugar, and mix well. Add another 50g or so of butter, chopped, and mix again. Finally, transfer to a ramekin and put in the fridge to solidify. Serve on hot toast for a fast and fabulous lunch.