December 18, 2014

Lentil and Walnut Pâté (vegan)

Fewer things are more decadent and luxurious to serve when entertaining during the holidays than a delicious pâté. It's rich, creamy, and you swoon for more due to that power of umami that each bite of it provides. It also happens to be pure fat and the origins of it's ingredients are best left not discussing. Imagine, if you will, indulging in the primal pleasures that come from eating pâté without the guilt or clogged arteries. This amazing recipe will help you achieve such a thing.

I have been making this recipe for pâté made with lentils and walnuts for a few years now. It has almost become a sort of parlor trick we play on our guests while they sip on champagne to say, "Try Julie's pâté." Our guests politely try the pâté and compliment me on how delicious it is before we reveal that it is in actuality a mock pâté that happens to be vegan. I have been asked for this recipe more times than I can count, but regretfully have never taken the time to write down a recipe with the actual measurement until about a week ago. It has always been something that I made to taste with a bit of this and a pinch of that to get it right. I promise you that this now well tested recipe will not disappoint if you follow it without alterations. It is delightfully creamy, thoroughly tasty, and absolutely perfect to share for holiday entertaining.

Lentil and Walnut Pâté

Makes 1-2 pints


1 red onion, chopped
3 cups

cooked brown lentils (I like to use the Trader Joes steamed lentils sold in the refrigerated section of their stores. Use one package which is 17.6 ounces.)

1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mellow white miso paste
2 1/2 teaspoons

umeboshi plum paste (Found in the Asian food sections of specialty stores or Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons cognac

Heat a the olive oil in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium heat while stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes or until the onions are fully caramelized. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the toasted walnuts until they form a paste. Essentially you are making a toasted walnut butter.

Add the prepared onions, cooked lentils, miso, umeboshi paste, and mirin. Process the mixture until smooth and creamy. You may want to stop and scrap down the sides of the bowl after about 10 seconds to ensure that all of the ingredients are processed thoroughly.

Add the cognac and process for another few seconds.

Take a taste and feel free to adjust the recipe with a tiny splash more of the cognac, but try to refrain from adding any miso or umeboshi paste. They are very salty ingredients and could ruin your recipe if you are not careful. This recipe is well tested for measurements and should be just right.

Transfer the pâté to a pâté box, small serving bowl, or in an airtight container. It will hold perfectly if refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks!

Serve with thinly toasted slices of brioche, french baguette, or crackers.


Categories: Beans & Legumes, Snacks, Nibbles & Finger Food, Spreads, Dips & Salsas

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