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Three Vegetable Pâté




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Gigi’s Three Vegetable Pâté

This is an extremely versatile dish, in addition to being delicious and having the advantage of being prepared in advance.  My mother often served the pâté as a first course or as part of a holiday buffet. It also does well as a side dish in the summer months.

8 tablespoons (1 stick or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped scallions
A 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
7 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan
1 pound button mushrooms
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cry Sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large carrots, cooked until soft
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.

Sauté scallions in 2 tablespoons butter until they are translucent. Add spinach and sauté about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl combine 3 eggs, lightly beaten. 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and the Parmesan. Add spinach mixture and stir until well blended. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Trim mushrooms and wipe them clean. Take 6 perfect mushrooms, toss them with the lemon juice and set aside. Chop remaining mushrooms.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in saucepan and sauté the reserved whole mushrooms about 5 minutes, turning often. Lift them out and arrange them in the pan in a row over the spinach. Sauté the chopped mushrooms and the chopped onion in the same saucepan until the onion is translucent. Stir in the Sherry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add 2 eggs. lightly beaten, and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Spoon this mixture over the spinach layer.

Purée the carrots in a food process until smooth. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup half-and-half, ginger and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat and beat in remaining 2 eggs and carrot purée. Spoon carrot mixture over mushroom layer. Cover pan with waxed paper, then with foil. Set in a larger deep pan. Pour boiling water into the outer pan to a depth of 2 inches. Bake until the pâté feels firm to the touch, about 2 hours. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool, at least 1 hour. Refrigerate the pâté overnight. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

Run a thin knife around the pâté and turn it out onto a plate. Invert the pâté onto another plate so it comes out right side up. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Serves 8 to 10


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