Spring and summer are the best reason to pop open a bottle of rosé and when pondering the best flavors to go with rosé, I had to include this mushroom studded goat cheese spread. I’ve made it at least 50 times in the last ten years, hauling it to Georgian Bay in Canada for a weekend at a friend’s cottage, packed in countless picnic hampers and served at most patio parties, this dip is such a savory, easy-to-make-ahead kind of appetizer, it had to be shared.
Since rosé loves creamy goat cheese and earthy mushrooms, why not combine the two? Just add fresh thyme and toasted walnuts and it’s party ready. Needless to say, you can make this dish with white button mushrooms but I encourage you to check out the wild side of shrooms at your local Heinen’s. This rich spread makes the perfect nosh between lunch and dinner and the leftovers have even been known to appear atop eggs at breakfast. With or without the rosé.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Makes about 2 cups
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
12 ounces oyster, shiitake or cremini mushrooms, or a blend of your choice, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
10 ounces goat cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Baby radishes, carrot, celery, fennel and grape tomatoes for dipping
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter sizzles, add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until they begin to look translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to give off some liquid, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the mushrooms are dry, about 4 minutes.
Add the wine along with the soy sauce. Cook until the pan is dry, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the mushrooms to the work bowl of a food processor along with the goat cheese, lemon zest, herbs and walnuts. Process in 4 or 5 short bursts to coarsely chop and mix the ingredients. Don’t over process. Leave the mushrooms a little bit chunky. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper as desired.
Transfer the spread to a decorative bowl and refrigerate if not using right away. Before serving let come to room temperature, garnish with some of the remaining branches of thyme and serve with fresh spring vegetables.
The spread can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.