Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Veggie Pâté

Veggie pâté has become popular around here. It's so simple to make, and it adds substantiveness and protein to summer sandwiches and crackery snacks.

Veggie Pâté

4 medium onions, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
0.5 kg sliced mushrooms
2 cups lightly toasted walnuts
2 cups lightly toasted sunflower seeds
2 cups dried green lentils
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh)
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

(This is a very forgiving recipe. If you don't have dried green lentils, use red ones, or use dried peas, or dried garbanzos or heck, you could probably use tofu or even porridge for that matter. If you don't have walnuts or sunflower seeds, substitute with hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews or any number of other possibilities. The seasonings are suggestions, not requirements. I've put all sorts of seasonings in and it always turns out great.)

Simmer dried lentils in a few cups of water for 1 hour or until tender, drain and set aside. In the meantime, sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until soft. Add salt, turn the heat down a bit and allow to "sweat" a bit and also carmelize a bit on the bottom. Stir occasionally, but don't worry if things get a bit crusty in the bottom. Turn off the heat. Deglaze the bottom of the pan to extract any caramelization, adding a tablespoon or two of water if necessary. Dump in vinegar, seeds and remaining seasonings.

Combine cooked lentils with the mushroom-onion mixture in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve as sandwich or cracker spread.


  1. Anonymous9:42 am

    Do you have to use liquid smoke? can you omit mushrooms or do you need to substitute for something else? We have a mushroom allergy here. Looks delicious!

  2. I've certainly done it without the liquid smoke, though the omnivores in my house seem to really like the meaty aura it lends to the pate. As for leaving out the mushrooms, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem. You might have to adjust the amount of water or oil once you get to the processing stage. And you might not get quite so nice a brown colour. I've sometimes used "liquid browning" to add brown colour -- just a caramel / veggie broth product, or else Dr. Bragg's or soy sauce (decreasing the salt a bit to compensate).

  3. Oh yummy! Definitely going to try this one!

  4. Anonymous8:18 pm

    Thanks, I will make it this weekend and let you know how it worked without the mushrooms.

  5. Anonymous11:00 am

    I take it you add the vinegar etc. to the food processor after you've mushed everything else together?

  6. Oh, yes! Of course. I guess I omitted a fairly important part of the directions. Editing now...


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