A vegetarian paté made with mushrooms, lentils and walnuts to eat on toasted bread with a cranberry chutney
I made a similar recipe last Christmas. My sister had just decided to become vegan and I was already flexitarian, therefore perfectly happy to accommodate her wishes. Even though my parents would have probably preferred some meat dish, I decided to cook an entire vegan Christmas dinner to make everyone (almost) happy. It was the kind of challenge I like!
Some days ago I decided to repeat the recipe in a vegetarian version and added just a tbsp of butter. But I knew something was missing and started to look around in the kitchen for the missing ingredient. Cranberries, perfect! A cranberry sauce would have given the perfect contrast to flavor and texture: the sweet & sourness to the quite mild taste and the wet – jellyish texture to the smoothness of the paté.
When I was little, my mother used to be open and creative with food, so I grew up being a kind of curious eater and I might have a particular taste sometimes. That’s why I need to ask my husband’s approval to be sure that a recipe is not too quirky. He grew up in an Italian family where tradition was more the rule and when I dare too much he’ll tell me.
It happened with the first version of the Chestnut & Apple Soup when he refused to eat “that sweet thing for dinner”. I loved it but he was just horrified. The second version of the soup is now #husbandapproved.
In any case, I was not sure to have his go-ahead for this combination “lentils-mushroom and (salty) cranberries but I did! Yeah, it’s salty. I added a bit of salt, pepper, and thyme to the sauce. It’s really good!
And these are the perfect Christmas berries!
Mushroom, Lentil and Walnut Paté with Toasted Bread and Cranberry Chutney
- Good blender or food processor
- tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 onions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 250 g champignons (0.6 lbs), sliced
- 4-5 tbps lentils, boiled
- 1 dl white wine (or 0.5 cups)
- 1 tbsp cognac
- 1 – 2 tbsp almond butter
- 50 g walnuts
- 4 bread slices
- 1 dl (dried) cranberries (0.5 cups)
- 0.5 dl white wine (0.25 cup)
- thyme leaves
- Heat oil in a pan at medium heat, and sauté the onion until translucent. Add salt, butter, mushrooms and keep sautéing until the champignons are tender (10 – 15 minutes). Add lentils, wine and cognac and cook for another 1 minute or until the liquids are evaporated. Put the mixture in a blender or food processor together with walnuts and almond butter. Blend until very smooth. This might take about 3-4 minutes, depending on your blender power. The thinner the better!
- In a pot heat 0.5 dl (about 0.25) of water and add cranberries, wine, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until the liquids are evaporated.
Garnishing and serving
- Toast the bread slices and spread the paté on top. Garnish with the chutney and sprinkle with a little pepper.