Unbelievably meaty flavor for a delicious vegan pâté. Serve it on crispy bread, crunchy crackers, or a leaf of fresh romaine lettuce as an appetizer to please friends of all eating persuasions.
Jack and I are intrigued with all foods. Confirmed omnivores, we never pass up an opportunity to try something new. A visit to my sister, who is a devout vegan (and gluten free) inspired us to walk in her culinary shoes for a bit.
Growing up in a household flavored with Swiss and Jewish heritage, my sister and I were exposed to world flavors from a very young age. Both of us have fond food memories from this period in our lives. One of our favorites was chopped chicken liver which is a rich pâté featuring the flavors of chicken fat and caramelized onions. We loved this spread on toast or crackers along with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of salt.
This mushroom and lentil pâté has a surprisingly similar flavor and texture to chopped chicken liver or even duck liver pâté. My sister and I made this recipe together last week and couldn’t stop eating it. For the benefit of her current diet, we served the pâté on crisp pieces of romaine lettuce instead of crackers. A healthy smear of the pâté on the lettuce layered with a slice of heirloom tomato and a dash of salt brought us right back to a childhood favorite.
We made this recipe a second time substituting the agave nectar with honey and substituting two tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil with unsalted butter for an even richer flavor. These changes take the recipe from vegan status to vegetarian.
Mushroom and Lentil Pâté
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms, shiitake or crimini work well
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup toasted and ground almonds
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra olive oil, needed
- In a large sauté pan, heat 4 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they are soft and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine almonds, lemon juice, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, sage, honey, and chipotle.
- Stir in mushroom mixture.
- Using a stick blender (or food processor), purée the mixture.
- Add in cooked lentils.
- Purée the mixture.
- If the mixture feels too thick, thin it with additional olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.