I never enjoyed pâté as an omni, but this recipe is really tasty. It's savory and smooth with a tiny bite at the end. The more you eat, the more complex the flavors seem to get as they layer on top of one another.
I've garnished it with a chiffonade of fresh sage and I'm serving it with sliced apples, rice crackers, and my favorite brand of local-brewed beer.
According to the article, the recipe is a "perennial favorite among Cafe Flora diners," and I can taste why. If I had to choose one word to describe it, it'd be 'sophisticated.'
Get out yer smoking jacket and follow along:
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, miced (1 Tbs.)
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 2 Tbs. mirin (rice wine)
- 1 Tbs. light miso
- 1 tsp. umeboshi (sour plum) paste (I couldn't find this in my local market, so I subbed it with 1 Tbs. plum sauce) or sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Place lentils, bay leaf, and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are very soft. Cool, then remove bay leaf.
- Heat olive oil in skillet over med heat. Add onion, and cook 5-7 minutes or until soft and translucent, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to low, and cook onion 15-20 minutes more, or until browned and caramelized, stirring occasionally. If onion starts to stick, add 1-2 Tbs. water, and stir to remove any bits of onion from bottom of pan. Add garlic, thyme, and sage, and cook 1 minute more. Cool.
- Place lentils and onion mixture in food processor with pecans, mirin, miso, umeboshi paste, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Chill 2 hours, or store up to 3 days in fridge. To serve: Scoop pâté onto plate and surround with crackers and fruit.