With the holidays coming up, many of us are probably thinking of entertaining. Or you will likely get asked to parties, and may be required to bring something along.
Last week, I confessed that I wanted to entertain more… and so I did! I had a little social gathering Sunday night. I’m still writing that blog post, but in the mean time, I wanted to share with you what I felt like was the hit of the party.
This is kind of amazing. It looks like pate. It spreads like pate. It has the consistency of pate. It’s delicious. It doesn’t taste like pate, though. There’s no meat–in fact, it’s completely vegan, so if you are expecting that liver taste, you may be disappointed. Actually, I hope you won’t be, because it’s really, really yummy. The shitakes and rosemary add a beautiful earthiness.
Vegan Pate with Lentils, Cashews and Shitakes
Adapted from LunchBoxBunch.com
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 20 small dried shitake mushrooms
- 2 cups cashews
- 1 can green lentils
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, or fresh juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus a sprig for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- whole peppercorns for garnish
- Boil some water, and put the shitakes in a bowl. Cover them with the boiling water, about 1.5-2 cups worth. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, then add the cashews, and let sit for about 10-15 minutes more.
- In the mean time, in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, put some olive oil, and then add the garlic and onions. Allow to sweat out for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the shitakes and the cashews, but reserve the water!! Separate the mushrooms from the nuts. De-stem and roughly chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan, along with the rosemary, and the can of lentils which have been drained and rinsed. Season, give everything a good stir, and allow to marry for about 5 minutes or so.
- In your food processor or blender, place the cashews and some of the mushroom water. Blend until it’s a nice paste. Add the rest of the water to the saucepan (hold some back if you feel like it might make your mixture too watery–you can always add more in later), mix well, and then pour the mixture from the saucepan into the food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil and lemon. Allow to process, scraping down the sides occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until it reaches a nice, smooth consistency.
- Lightly grease a 9″ cake pan. Place the sprig of rosemary on the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle peppercorns around the edge. Scrap the pate into the cake pan, and press down and smooth the top.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, then turn down to 250 degrees and bake for an additional two hours. Allow to cool in the fridge. Invert the cake pan onto a plate, and serve with crackers, vegetables or crusty bread.