Asparagus and mushroom truffle pâté

When thinking of food to eat in spring asparagus immediately leaps to mind, it’s almost the vision of spring itself- shooting high up, strong and positively green. Eating seasonably should be taken seriously, if not just for making the world a greener/greater place or supporting your local community, then for your own health and longevity in the world. When things are in season it’s the time when the item is the freshest in the market and the cheapest, most abundant. We are always dumbfounded when people request things like broad beans in November or beetroot in May. We adore asparagus and will get it the moment its available, delicious straight up with olive oil and lemon or even used like we have as a dipping device for an exciting dip. Once a month we allow for a Tart treat, taking ourselves out for a splendid lunch- a great way for culinary inspiration and some escapism/spoiling. Petersham nurseries tick all the boxes for this time of year- seasonal, light and unfailingly beautiful. So this week we drove to Richmond to walk amongst the deer, ancient trees and budding spring to end up at Petersham- The boglioni family have really created a paradise of an establishment, mismatched stone tables from Tuscany, Lucy Boyd (daughter of the late Rose Gray of the River Café) taking care of the gardens and an ever changing menu- its heaven! Places like this and also Brunswick House, Kitty Fishers (to name a few) celebrate seasonality and good produce, which for us is the most exciting way of eating. Forget haute cuisine, pretentious decorative plates of forms and crusts- we like our food straight up and rustic. This is an all time favorite recipe of ours when catering for openings and events alike. Not being the biggest fans of idie biddie canapés, this is the perfect finger food for parties or even an individual starter. Crunchy fresh asparagus that you can dip into a hot mushroom truffle dip, it’s the perfect mix of flavor and texture. We like adding toasted pine nuts and a parmesan crumb to the top for added crunch. At our pop up restaurant (Tart’s Kitchen) we ran for two months last year this was a popular starter for when we put on dinners- looks elegant and light, but (if we say so ourselves) an explosion of flavor that makes you keep on dipping.


    2 shallots, chopped

    1 leek, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    Pinch of Thyme

    Chestnut mushrooms and Portobello, roughly chopped

    Dried porcini

    Truffle oil

    1 lemons and zest

    1 heaped tbsp. mascarpone

    1 heaped tsp mustard

    Tarragon, big pinch

    plenty of sea salt and pepper


    Toasted pine nuts roughly chopped




Preheat your grill 200 Sautee shallots in olive oil with the leek, thyme and garlic on a medium heat, once caramelized add the chopped mushrooms and cook for a further 15 mins. Soak your dried mushrooms in hot water, for at least 5 mins. Add your lemon juice (& zest), mustard, nutmeg, truffle oil, soaked mushrooms and mascarpone with the chopped tarragon and cook for a further 5 mins, season generously. Whiz your mixture in a magimix or blender, pulsing so as not to cream, keeping it coarse. Transfer your mushroom mix into an ovenproof dish and put your talaggeio on top and then place under the grill. Once golden and bumbling take out and sprinkle on your chopped pine nuts and a little chopped tarrogan. Serve immediately with your asparagus