For many years, I was a vegetarian. I enjoyed it and I still enjoy making recipes that don’t include meat.
Now, that does not mean I’m forsaking bacon or steak at this point, but I dig some veggie pasta (as long as there is cheese and cream included – I’m not crazy) or a veggie (guess I need to learn how to spell vegetable at some point – woo hoo! I did it correctly – for once, maybe) appetizer. One of my favorite appetizers, vegetarian or not, is mushroom watercress pate. It’s kind of stupidly simple, but here it is. I found the original recipe out of a vegetarian cookbook that my older sister gave me for Christmas because, I’m sure, she couldn’t think of anything else for me at that point. You know that age.
- olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced – button or crimini
- small yellow onion or bunch of scallions, chopped
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- large bunch or bag of watercress, rinsed and end of stems removed
- balsamic vinegar
- 8 oz cream cheese, soft(ish)
- toast or hearty crackers
Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in pan, and when shimmering, add mushrooms. Cook until they have released their juices and add onions/scallions. When all is soft, turn up heat a bit and add balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan. Add watercress and mix to wilt.
In the food processor, add cream cheese in large pieces and then include the mixture from the pan. Add salt and pepper. Mix in food processor until smooth. Place in ceramic ramekin and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
To serve, toast bread (or use sturdy cracker) and top with pate and a squeeze of lime juice (this is totally necessary and not to be skipped).
The Boy grew up eating this and makes sandwiches out of it. It’s a great idea and works so well. The bitterness in the watercress is what makes it – well, that and the balsamic vinegar (which was NOT in the original recipe – yay me).
It’s not pretty. I totally get that, but just try it once – really just once and you’ll be hooked. That, I know, for sure.