Guests will swoon over this rich goat cheese and earthy mushroom spread. It makes the perfect nosh between lunch and dinner and has even been known to appear atop eggs at breakfast. Needless to say, you can make this Wild Mushroom and Thyme Spread with button mushrooms, but I encourage you to take a walk on the wild side if you can find them.
It’s that easy: As a result of their high fat content, walnuts may be toasted in a microwave. Cook on high heat for 30 seconds, stir the nuts and cook for another 30 seconds. Depending on the wattage, you might cook for another 30 seconds until they are hot and fragrant.
Wild Mushroom and Thyme Spread
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Start-to-Finish: 30 minutes
Makes about 2 cups
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- Pinch of salt
- 12-oz 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-oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Toasted baguette slices as an accompaniment
- 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 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the mushrooms are dry, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and soy sauce. Cook until the pan is dry, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mushrooms to the 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 it a little bit chunky. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Transfer the spread to a pretty bowl and refrigerate if not using right away. Before serving, let it come to room temperature. Garnish with some of the remaining branches of thyme and serve with toasted baguette slices or bagel rounds. Or, spread onto toasted bread and garnish each with a sprinkling of minced parsley.
- Make-ahead: The spread can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.