Lentil and Walnut Pâté

Lentil and Walnut Pâté

I 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!