Lentil and Walnut Pâté

Appetizer, Lunch, Snack

Lentil and Walnut PateI know we’ve found a great recipe when within the span of a week we’ve made it twice.  

As it must be clear – this vegan pâté is one of those recipes.  Several years ago, during a trip to Montreal, we went out for brunch at a vegan restaurant called Aux Vivres.  We ended up coming back to eat there twice more before we left as the food was so incredible and this is what I loved about it – it wasn’t incredible for Vegan food (as neither myself nor Fabio are Vegan) it was just fantastic food.  One of the appetizers we had during one of our visits really stuck with me and every once in a while I go on a search online for something comparable.  It was a vegan pâté served with french bread and pickles.  It was so good, and somehow I could not decipher what any of the actual ingredients were.  

Fast forward – now 3 years – and during a weekend morning spent surfing Vimeo for food related videos I found a company called ‘the real vegan’ that specialized in making something called Faux Gras and while it was made entirely with plant based foods it was often mistaken for the texture and flavor of real pâté  – the video gave away a few of the secret ingredients – mostly japanese condiments – Mirin, Umeboshi plum paste, and miso and I was intrigued so I googled those ingredients and lo and behold, through the magic of the internet I found exactly what I had been looking for since our lunch at Aux Vivres 3 years ago in Montreal. 

We’ve made this twice this week, and while I am sure it will run its course and stop being a daily indulgence I know we will return to this recipe over and over again.  This is why we started this blog, this is a recipe to share.  Enjoy!

Lentil and Walnut Pate

Recipe adapted from the Real Food Daily Cookbook via The Bojon Gourmet 

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 3/4 cup De Puy Lentils (AKA green lentils or French lentils) / taza de lentejas
  • 3 cups water / tazas de agua
  • 1 bay leaf / hoja de laurel
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil / cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)/ cebolla cortada en cuadritos
  • 6 cloves of garlic – minced / Ajos cortados finamente
  • 1 tbsp Mirin / cucharada de Mirin (vino de arrroz dulce japones)
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts (toasted for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven) / tazas de nueces (tostadas por 10 minutos en el horno a 350 grados)
  • Optional – 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (we used a mix of parsley, cilantro and basil) / taza de una mezcla de perejil, culantro y albahaca cortados finamente (opcional)
  • 2 tbsp red miso / cucharadas de miso (pasta de soya japones)
  • 1 tbsp umeboshi paste / cucharadas de pasta de umeboshi (ciruelas japonesas fermentadas)
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper / cucharilla de pimienta

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Place the lentils and bay leaf in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes – the lentils should be ‘al dente’ (cooked but not falling apart).  / Colocar las lentejas con las 3 tazas de agua en una olla a fuego media alto, cuando esté hirviendo reducir a fuego lento y cocinar por 20 minutos hasta que las lentejas estén ‘al dente’
  • Drain the Lentils once ready, remove the bay leaf, spread out on a large dinner plate and place in the refrigerator until everything else is ready. / Colar las lentejas y remover la hoja de laurel. Colocar las lentejas en un plato y poner al refrigerador.
  • Toast the walnuts in the oven – around 10 minutes – the remove from the pan and place in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool down. /  Tostar las nueces por 10 minutos, cuando estén listas ponerlas en un plato y colocarlas al refrigerador.

Caramelized onions, garlic and Mirin

  • Set a saute pan over medium heat and caramelize the onions and garlic in two tbsps of the olive oil. / En un sarten colocar la cebolla con los ajos y dos cucharadas de aceite de oliva, cocinarlos hasta que la cebolla este caramelizada.
  • Once the onions are caramelized – will take around 15 minutes – deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp of Mirin, stir together well, spread the onions on another plate and place in the fridge. / Cuando las cebollas están caramelizadas (15 minutos) agregar Mirin y mezclar bien. Colocar las cebollas en un plato y ponerlas en el refrigerador para enfriar.
  • Blend the walnuts in a food processor or high speed blender until they turn into walnut butter.  Scrape down the sides and add the onions and lentils and blend for another 30 seconds.  / Triturar las nueces en un procesador de alimentos hasta que se tornen como mantequilla, agregar las cebollas y lentejas y triturar bien.

Lentils, Umeboshi plum paste, and Miso

  • Add the final ingredients – Miso, Umeboshi paste, chopped herbs (optional), final tbsp of Olive oil and ground pepper, then blend until completely smooth. / Agregar miso, umeboshi, perejil-albahaca-culantro y una cucharada de aceite de oliva. Triturar todo hasta que este suave.
  • Serve with crackers or a sliced baguette with cornichons on the side. / Servir con pan francés tostado o con galletas.

Lentil and Walnut Pate… Provecho!


Liege Waffles

Brunch, Dessert, Snack

Liege WaffleA few years ago our friends introduced us to the fantastic Patisserie Lebeau. A small breakfast/waffle/pastry spot in Kits located on west 2nd.  This is where I first tried a Liege waffle and, as with most foods I fall in love with, the hunt was on to recreate it back at home. 

A Liege waffle is a dense, rich, yeast leavened waffle that uses pearl sugar to create the unique caramelized outer layer.  A Brussels waffle on the other hand is the more common image of a waffle to most people in North America.  Brussels waffles are the perfectly square (or circle) shaped waffles which have been leavened with baking powder/soda or have been made with whipped egg whites to create an airy texture.  As Brussels waffles are naturally less sweet on their own they are generally served with custard, whipped cream, fruit, syrup etc.  A Liege waffle may be eaten on their own and are sweet enough without anything added – however – as I’m sure you’ll agree, a little chocolate ganache never hurt anyone.

Liege waffle / chocolate ganache

We tried at least 3 different Liege waffle recipes before trying this one – which is funny because this recipe comes up first when you Google Liege waffle recipe (the website is liegewafflerecipe.com) I suppose we delayed trying this one because of the added time required to make the batter but, as I have learned, in life and in cooking, some of the best things require patience and time.  These are more than worth the day ahead planning.  We hope you enjoy them also! 


  • 1 tbsp sugar / cuchara de azúcar
  • 3 tsp yeast / cucharillas de levadura
  • 1/2 cup milk / taza de leche
  • 1/3 cup water / taza de agua
  • 4 cups flour / tazas de harina
  • 2 large eggs / huevos
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar / cucharadas de azúcar morena
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder / cucharillas de polvo para hornear
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt / cucharillas de sal
  • 1 cup butter / taza de mantequilla
  • 2 tbsp honey / cucharadas de miel
  • 2 tbsp vanilla / cucharadas de vainilla
  • ** 3/4 cup pearl sugar / **taza de azúcar aperlada
  • optional – 2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon / opcional – 2-3 cucharadas de canela

** The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of pearl sugar.  Using half of the called for amount yields a sweet waffle that still lends itself well to toppings/dipping.  If you are interested in a sweet waffle entirely on its own, adjust the pearl sugar according to your tastes / La receta original usa 1 1/2 tazas de azúcar aperlada, nosotros usamos menos debido a que servimos los waffles con un ganache de chocolate, si quieres los waffles mas dulces puedes agregar más azúcar aperlada.

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment mix the milk, water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of the flour for 3-5 mintues. / En una batidora de pie agregar la leche, agua, levadura y 1 1/2 tazas de harina, mezclar por 3-5 minutos.
  • Let the contents sit for 1 hour / Dejar la mezcla a un lado por 1 hora

Add the following to the top of the mixture during the hour that it is rising: / Agregar los siguientes ingredientes a la mezcla mientras que esta creciendo por una hora.

  • The rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups) / lo que resta de la harina (2 1/2 tazas)
  • Brown sugar / azúcar morena
  • White sugar / azúcar
  • Baking powder / polvo para hornear
  • Salt /sal
  • Butter / mantequilla
  • Eggs / huevos

Once the hour of rising is up, add the vanilla and honey to the pile of ingredients already in the bowl and mix everything together for 5 minutes. / Después de que haya pasado la hora, agregar la vainilla y miel y mezclar todo por 5 minutos.

Liege waffle batter

  • Let dough rise for 4 hours at room temperature / Dejar que la masa repose/crezca por 4 horas más a temperatura ambiente.
  • Punch the dough down, deflating the dough completely. / Dar un puñetazo a la masa para que se desinfle completamente.
  • Place a plate or bowl on top of the dough and weight it down (I used a jar of cherries) then place in the refrigerator to slowly rise overnight / Encima de la masa colocar un plato y encima algo pesado (ver foto), colocar al refrigerador para que poco a poco crezca durante la noche.

Liege waffle batter

  • In the morning add the pearl sugar – I’ve used half the amount normally called for in the recipe as I was intending to eat the waffles with powdered sugar/chocolate ganache – however if you are having them on their own or you prefer a much sweeter waffle the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of the pearl sugar. / En la mañna agregar la azúcar aperlada , puedes agregar máz azúcar si quieres, depende de tu gusto.
  • Once the pearl sugar has been evenly distributed – divide the dough into balls approximately 50 grams in weight and allow to rise for another hour – until doubled in size. / Cuando este la azúcar aperlada bien incorporada a la masa, dividir en pequeñas bolitas de 50 gramos cada una y dejar reposar para que crezcan por 1 hora más.
  • If your waffle iron has a heat adjustment dial – begin one or two notches below max and increase to maximum heat if needed.  The dough should cook within 2-4 minutes.  Most machines will alert you with a ding when ready however this is designed for more classic waffles which these are not so keep an eye on them and make note of how long they take in your waffle iron. / Poner la masa en tu máquina para hacer waffles por 2-4 minutos en temperatura alta.

Liege waffle - dough rising

  • Careful removing the waffles from the griddle as the pearl sugar on the outside will have melted and can burn you easily. / Con cuidado tienes que sacar los waffles de la máquina porque la azúcar aperlada se va a derretir y puede quemarte.
  • Serve on their own or dusted in powdered sugar.  They make a great vessel for a dip like chocolate ganache as we have done here or try them served with a side of custard (such as the pastry cream from the St. honore cake) whipped cream and fruit salad. / Sevir con azúcar impalpable encima, puedes agregar un ganache de chocolate como nosotros hicimos con crema pastelera , crema de leche y hasta una ensalada de frutas.

Enjoy! / Disfruta!

Liege waffle… Provecho!