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.
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.