Pairing with Pate

Spreadable fruits are lower in sugar than a traditional jam and let the natural sweetness of the fruit stand center stage. They are not just for a morning toast go-with or a buddy for your baked goods!Bringing the fruits to the savory table always looks a little like a vitamin and mineral celebration to me.

Here we have made pairings for a Spring gathering at the farm of a chicken liver pate made with dried herbs, light peppery spices and slowly cooked garlic and onions and an oyster mushroom and walnut pate which you will find the recipe for here!

The rich and savory flavors of the chicken liver pate make a perfect pairing partner with strawberry spreadable fruits. The perfection comes from the contrast of the salt and spice of the pate dancing with the natural fruit-sweet of the strawberries. Even with as little sugar as there is in this jar - these berries were preserved at peak harvest so their natural berry goodness is bright and present.

How does this work!? I’ll subscribe to a theory of Carl Jung’s on this where he states “the greater the contrast, the greater the potential.” The tension of opposites make for excited tastebuds! To play out these pairing methods, considering the level of the savory helps decide where and how to match and meet it.

The salt and spice in a liver pate is greater than in something like this walnut mushroom pate where, as you may know, there are richer flavors in the liver and more delicate flavors in the mushrooms. This means the flavor profile of the mushroom pate tends to be more delicate and just lightly salted. That’s why we have chosen the honey berry jam to pair with this beautiful pate. Honeyberries have a natural rich tartness and not as much sweetness as the summer strawberries. We can think of it as starting at a baseline (i love the pH scale for imagery framework for this) where the savory scale goes out one direction from the base and the sweet scale leads out the opposite direction. If the savory level of a component goes all the way to the opposite end of the sweet side, you are going to find pleasure in seeking a partner that is as far down the sweet scale as the first component is on the savory side. If your savory dish cruises kinda close to the middle, like this mushroom pate, you’ll find something not so sweet will enhance its delicate spices and should settle into a nice balance! 

Please enjoy this recipe and look for spreadable fruits here online or at our local farmers markets to try your own pairings at home! 

Mushroom Walnut Pate 

1 lb mushrooms, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp ghee

1 shallot

2 clove garlic

 1 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp champagne or apple cider vinegar

4 Tbsp olive oil 

1 Tbsp thyme leaves 

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp white pepper or 1/4 tsp fine black pepper 


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee with olive oil and stir in shallot, garlic and thyme. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and shallot is turning translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft, 8-10 more minutes. 

2. Pour the wine into the pan and let simmer until it has mostly evaporated from the pan. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool at least 10 minutes. 

3. Transfer to a food processor and add the walnuts, salt and pepper. Process until smooth and get ready to serve! 

4. Put the pate into a serving bowl alongside go-withs, tart berry jams, spiced stonefruit chutneys, ale mustards and/or sweet pickles. We served ours today with Honeyberry Jam! Enjoy!

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