Almond Mushroom Pate

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

INGREDIENTS :

 2 tablespoons margarine
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 c)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (4 oz)
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1 cup blanched whole almonds (6 oz)
1 tablespoon lemon Juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 dash white pepper
2 tablespoons Alta Dena kefir cheese
Slivered or finely chopped almonds, optional
Fresh parsley sprigs, optional
Pimiento strips, optional
Sweet red pepper strips, optional

In a large skillet, melt margarine. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms.

Saute until tender but not browned. Add tarragon, stir until it is softened. Pour mixture into a bowl of food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Process until mixture is smooth. Add cheese if you prefer a more spreadable consistency. Spoon into a serving bowl. Top with garnish of your choice.

Serve with water crackers, thick slices of crusty French bread, thin slices of whole wheat bread, or unsalted whole wheat crackers. May be frozen.

Substitute other vegetables for the mushrooms (maybe broccoli.) - Substitute 1/2 t fennel for the tarragon and 1 c whole pecans for the almonds - vary the flavor by using other seasonings such as basil, oregano, dillweed, curry powder, or nutmeg.