04 May 2011

mushroom & walnut spread

mushroom and walnut spread

Don't be alarmed. I didn't open a can of Fancy Feast and attempt to pass it off as food fit for human consumption. What you see here is a mushroom-walnut spread. It's a nice and light accompaniment to an array of spreads for holidays, such as the upcoming Hallmark holiday, Mother's Day. The flavors of the cilantro and tiny pinch of tarragon pair well with the portobello mushrooms and toasted walnuts. I found the recipe on a running forum and tweaked it to suit my taste.

mushroom and walnut spread

Start off by chopping portobello mushrooms, an onion, and garlic.

mushroom and walnut spread

The vegetables get sauteed until they begin to brown and reduce. I wanted a fond to develop, which I loosened up with a little pinot grigio so the flavor would be added back to the dip instead of remaining on the bottom of the skillet.

mushroom and walnut spread

Let the mushroom mixture cool a little while you grind toasted walnuts.

mushroom and walnut spread

Add the mushroom mixture, cilantro, and lemon juice and pulse until a spread is formed. It won't be entirely smooth, but you don't want it to be.

mushroom and walnut spread

While I prepared the spread I toasted wedges of pita bread (tossed with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper) to serve alongside it.

The spread had a bright flavor, nothing standing out too prominently. I felt the taste of the mushrooms and walnuts, while not heavy, paired well together. There was a hint of tarragon (which was added to the mushrooms as they cooked) but it didn't overwhelm the flavors and tasted good with the cilantro and lemon juice. I'd definitely make this recipe again. If you're looking for a new spread to try, go ahead and make it!

As an alternative, you could probably follow the recipe and form them into patties, then cook in a skillet to make vegetarian patties. You might want to reduce the lemon juice by a tablespoon so it won't be quite as sticky when you form the patties.

Print this recipe

mushroom & walnut spread
Recipe by Christina Provo

ingredients -

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, coarsley chopped
1 onion, coarsley chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
black pepper
3 tablespoons chardonnay or pinot grigio
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro (stems removed)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pita chips, crackers, bread, etc

directions -
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook for three minutes. Stir in garlic, salt, tarragon, and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then raise heat slightly and cook for about 5-7 minutes more, until fond starts to develop on the bottom of skillet and mushrooms and onions start to brown. Remove from heat; pour in wine and stir to release fond.

  2. Place walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add mushroom mixture, cilantro, and lemon juice. Pulse until ingredients are blended together; it won't be completely smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

  3. Serve with pita chips or whatever you like.


  1. That sounds really yummy, Christina! We don't get portobello mushrooms where I live, but I think it would work with other mushrooms too.. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. might not be pretty but you can't go wrong with mushrooms and walnuts! yum!

  3. Gorgeous pictures! This spread looks amazing. Mmm shrooms.

  4. ooh, i love the sounds of this! delish :)

  5. I wish you had a "print" button.

    1. Sorry. I actually do, but I forgot to add it to this recipe. It just takes you to a page without all the pictures and stuff, though.

  6. I just made this. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is totally worth it! It's DELICIOUS! I think I will double or triple it next time and freeze some so I don't have to make it so frequently.

    1. Sorry for the late reply! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe and thank you for commenting!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^


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