French in a Flash: Awesome Mushroom Pâté

It's my New Year's tradition to make something with truffles. I superstitiously figure the luxurious ingredient will bring a successful year, the way birthday cake brings a sweet one. This year I want to make something sophisticated for a New Year's party. Something that goes with Champagne. Something up to the occasion.

This is my mushroom pâté with truffle oil—easy, vegetarian, versatile, and scrumptious. The key is to roast the mushrooms with freshly ground dried mushrooms, whole cloves of garlic, and thyme; the mushrooms sear and caramelize, the garlic gets softly charred, and the dried mushrooms add an extra 'shroomy oomph to the whole thing. After whizzing it up with Neufchatel cheese (which is quite low fat compared to other cheeses, if that makes you feel better about ringing in the new year with it), parsley, and lemon juice, I finish it with a drizzle of black truffle oil and serve it with rounds of baguette.

It's not a vrai pâté, but as something light, fresh, and vegetarian, this trumps all. Happy New Year!