Kim (of What I Really Think fame) had the honor of choosing the ingredient this week, and her pick (again) was lentils. I say again because she chose lentils when we were doing soups.
I just couldn't make a decision on a recipe, so I made TWO similar recipes so I could compare them - Lentil-Walnut Pate and Faux Chopped Liver. Kind of the same concept (a pate) but different ingredients.
Bethel Heights is an Oregon winery, and I found the first recipe on their website:
This healthy appetizer will surprise you. It tastes more like traditional liver paté than you would imagine. Very good choice for a lighter, vegetarian option. I like to serve it with apple slices as well as crackers or crostini.
2/3 cup small, green lentils
2 T oil — canola is fine
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 ts sea salt
1 ts minced fresh oregano, if you have it
3 ts minced fresh basil, if you have it
1 ts. minced fresh thyme, if you have it
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme (plus 1 ts if you aren't using any fresh)
1 T dried basil (plus 2 ts if you aren't using any fresh)
2 cups walnuts, toasted (see below)
2 T Dijon style mustard
Place 2 cups cold water and the lentils in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Set aside without draining.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until onion begins to soften. Add salt, garlic, and herbs and sauté three or four additional minutes. Set aside to cool.
Toast walnuts in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. When cool, process in a food processor until well ground. Add lentils and cooking liquid, onion mixture, mustard and pepper. Puree until a smooth paste forms, about 4 or 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
This can rest in the refrigerator a day or two. Bring back to room temperature and serve.
The second recipe is from appetizersrecipe.net:
Faux Chopped Liver
1/2 cup lentils
1 (1.5 ounce) packet MBT vegetable broth or any type
of dehydrated vegetable broth mix, such as Knorr
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped in food processor
Whites of 2 hardboiled eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley (for garnish)
Cherry tomatoes and/or sliced black olives
Combine lentils and MBT or other vegetable broth mix in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Heat until all liquid is absorbed and lentils are well-cooked, stirring often.
In a separate skillet, fry onion in oil. Place all ingredients (except parsley, tomatoes, olives and chips) in food processor and pur?e. Pack into a 4-cup mold and chill overnight.
Garnish with parsley, cherry tomatoes and/or sliced black olives, if desired. Serve with bagel chips.
Makes 20 to 25 small appetizer servings.
I served the pates with cheese crackers. Bottom line is that they look pretty similar - recipe #1 seemed a little more dense than #2, but I think I liked the flavor of #2 the best. Both good though.