This recipe started life as something called mushroom duxelles, a French recipe which is part of the classic beef Wellington. Ironically, we have transformed it into a vegan recipe. Adding the dill helps to balance the richness of the truffley mushrooms and creates something quite intriguing. You can find truffle oil in most supermarkets now; it’s expensive but you won’t use much, as it is quite strong. You can use it to drizzle on soups and salads as well. If you want to get people’s attention, add it to hot soup at the table, as the aroma carried from the steaming soup will fill a room.
This pâté is a useful little recipe – you can serve it warm on toast, add whole cooked mushrooms and use it as a pie filling, or even serve it with a salad as a starter at a dinner party. On and on and on …

SERVES 6
400g flat mushrooms
a little sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
25ml red wine
small bunch of dill, coarse stalks removed, fronds chopped
white truffle oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
bread and salad leaves of your choice
Wipe the mushrooms, or peel them if they look very dirty. You can wash them if you prefer, but you will find that they absorb water and that will impair the flavour. Put the mushrooms in a blender and pulse until they are smooth, but try to leave a little texture.
Pour a little sunflower oil into a large saucepan and add the onion. The wider the pan the better, as it allows the mushrooms to dry out quicker. Allow the onion to soften, then tip in all the mushrooms and add the red wine.
Cook for about 25 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Basically you are trying to evaporate the juices to get a firm, dry result. The best way to tell if it’s done is by running your wooden spoon along the base of the pan; if any juice runs into the gap, cook for longer until it is completely dry.
While the mix is still hot, add the dill and truffle oil and season to taste. Allow to cool completely.
When cold, spread on to a slice of bread, add salad leaves and close the sandwich.