Dana Slatkin

Savory Mushroom Pate

Mushroom Pate 1Holidays tend to bring out the best and worst of me. Though I love keeping tradition, bringing together family and friends, and hosting a festive meal, there’s my dark side: the little demon that sits on my shoulder for up to a week before, demanding perfection, questioning every dish on my menu, mocking my efforts as I obsess over the particulars of the meal.

Mushroom Pate 2As I was sautéing earthy mushrooms for this rich vegan hors d’oeuvre, which I always serve during Passover with matzah and cucumber slices, I started reflecting. We all have shadows from our past. They follow us everywhere, demanding acknowledgment. But as the story of Passover reminds us, we are free to walk with our history, no matter how shady or tormenting. It is what gives each of us our unique character, seasoning our lives with all kinds of flavor — salty, bitter, sour and sweet.


I may never completely reconcile with my inner drama queen. But each holiday is an opportunity to celebrate with those we love, to commemorate our freedom. And to cook my peace once again.

For more fail-proof Passover recipes, try my Fluffy Matzah Balls, Perfect Zucchini-Potato Latkes, Seared Fish with Simple Tomato-Herb Sauce, Fried Artichoke Hearts, Poached Pears with Chocolate Ganache, and Flourless Fig and Walnut Torte.

This month’s cooking contest is all about artichokes — send in your favorite recipe now!

Photo credits: cestlavegan.com and huggingthecoast.com

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