I first made this black lentil pâté when the idea of having a food blog was a distant dream. And now six months into the world of blogging, I am sharing this truly yummy pâté. I can promise that even your meat eating friends will relish the full, rich flavor of this pâté.
I like to serve it with a cranberry relish during the Christmas Holiday Season. It makes a perfect appetizer. I make my own little toasties for dipping into the pâté. I have included the instructions for making the toasties.
Today, when I finished with the Christmas Holiday Season photos, I made an open sandwich for my lunch — toasted, sprouted whole grain bread topped with the pâté, tomatoes, a little kimchi, and home grown broccoli sprouts. Oh boy, super delicious! I ate all of the sandwiches in the photograph! A bit piggy I know.
A word or two about kimchi. It is packed with vitamins A, B, and C, and the best health benefit is the “healthy bacteria,” lactobacilli, which are found in abundance in fermented foods like kimchi and yoghurt. These lactobacilli which are “good” bacteria, aids digestion. It may even help stop and prevent yeast infections. I am still learning to enjoy its sharp, fermented flavor and so, a little goes a long way for me. But, hey, a little is better than nothing and today kimchi was the perfect addition to the Black Lentil Pâté sandwich. I didn’t make my own kimchi (that experiment is a way down the road), but our local Wholefoods had a great selection. You can guess that I chose the one that purported to be the mildest!
Oh, and one more thing I keep meaning to mention, I use a Microplane for taking the zest from citrus fruit. It creates the finest zest which is perfect for most recipes when the zest is used for its flavour, and we don’t want to find lumps of orange rind in the dish! I urge you to try the Microplane. You won’t be disappointed.
1 cup, 150 grams black lentils
1 bay leaf
1½ cups water
2 oz, 20 grams toasted walnuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon sage
2½ tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon light miso
2 tablespoons umeboshi paste
Black pepper to season
What to do
Place the lentils, water and bay leaf into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer the lentils until soft. This will take about 30 minutes. Don’t worry if there is a little water remaining. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and add the chopped shallots. When the shallots begin to stick, add about a teaspoon of water and keep stirring and adding water, until the shallots are softening and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, thyme and sage and continue cooking for a minute or so. Set aside and allow to cool.
Toast the walnuts, either in a hot frying pan or under a grill for a few minutes.
Drain lentils, keep any remaining cooking liquid and remove bay leaf.
Place the lentils, shallots, walnuts and all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add cooking liquid from the lentils or water, if needed, to create the desired consistency. Season with pepper and salt if needed.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. The pâté will keep for several days.
3 cups, 320 grams fresh or frozen cranberries
Grated zest of one large orange
Juice of one orange
⅓ cup, 35 grams raw palm sugar
What to do
Place the cranberries, orange juice and zest into a saucepan and simmer until the cranberries are soft about 5 minutes. Then I give the cranberries a bash with a potato masher to break them up.
Add the sugar and continue to simmer for a few minutes until the relish has thickened a little.
Store in clean, screw-top jars in the fridge. The cranberry relish will keep for several weeks in the fridge but as always is best fresh!
Thinly slice some good whole grain bread and cut each slice into 3 or 4 pieces. Place the pieces of bread on a baking sheet, and into an oven set at 350°F. The toasties take about 15 minutes to brown and become crisp. Turn them over about halfway through the cooking time. FYI: cranberry walnut bread makes the very best little toasties.