Photo credit: Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky

Since receiving a shipment of dried maitakes, I’ve been on a mushroom jag. Interest in this particular varietal’s immune-boosting and cancer-suppressing abilities has well… forgive the pun, mushroomed. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering their medicinal use in ancient Asian culture. But that’s not why I ordered them. I happen to love their porcini-like flavor in risottos, pasta sauce, omelets, soups, and in this case, pâté. And while there are several iterations of pâté recipes out there, I’m a bit of a purest. I don’t want to taste, black beans, lentils, or nuts in my pâté; I want to taste lots and lots of earthy, woodsy, mushrooms. Period. My only alteration to this recipe from the Washington Post was eliminating the crushed red peppers, substituting coconut oil in place of butter, and tofu in place of cream cheese to veganize it. Otherwise, I stayed true to a classic apéro dinatoire that’s simple to throw together when last-minute dinner guests arrive with a bottle of wine in-hand, or if it’s simply a glass of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou—si bon.

maitakeWhile the original recipe calls for portabello, creminis, or shitake mushrooms, I personally prefer the maitakes, better known in the U.S. as “hen of the woods” for their leafy fronds that resemble feathers. They can be purchased fresh depending on their availability in your region, or dried from online retailers. Either way, whatever mushrooms you select, your guests will enjoy this light hors d’ oeuvres. Serve an assortment of crostini, crackers, and flatbread alongside a selection of gherkins and olives.


  • 2-Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2-Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-medium to large shallot, chopped
  • 4-garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-tsp fresh thyme
  • 1-pound fresh mushrooms or 6oz dried [maitake, shitake, wood ear, cremini]
  • 1/3-cup sherry or dry white wine, like pinot grigio
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 3-oz soft “organic” tofu
  • 1/3-cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Slice fresh mushrooms. If using dry mushrooms, rehydrate. Drain, slice, and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat oils.
  3. Add shallots and garlic and saute over medium heat until shallots are translucent.
  4. Add mushrooms and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add wine and reduce slightly or until the alcohol burns off.
  6. In a food processor, cream tofu. Add mushroom mixture and pulse until smooth.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. Transfer to serving bowl and chill for 30-minutes before serving.

Recipe yields 6-3oz servings. Nutrients based on per serving, not including bread or crackers.