I love French food. I had the amazing fortune to study abroad in Aix en Provence, and find myself returning again and again to this beautiful country. I am captivated by their culture, especially their food culture. Meals are transcendental celebrations that synergistically elevate ingredients into sublime territory.
But French food is not always vegan friendly. Let’s talk about pâté. It’s a rich, spreadable meat paste. What makes it delicious is the savory, fatty richness of the whole thing. It’s easy to replicate this with plant ingredients.
This pâté has all of the savory richness of the traditional recipe with none of the harm. Walnuts provide richness, lentils provide body, and mushrooms provide umami. Whizz them all up in the blender with a few spices and you have a delicious, spreadable French treat. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!
Adapted from David Lebovitz's Faux Gras
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion peeled and diced
- 10 ounces white button mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon dried herbs de provence
- 1/4 cup port wine (or other red wine)
- 2 cups cooked green lentils
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sautee until caramelized. Add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally until they are starting to stick to the pan. Deglaze with the port wine. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together lentils, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, sugar , cayenne and remaining oil until smooth. Add the mushrooms and continue processing until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.
- Transfer to mixture to small ramekins. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
For a nut allergy, use sunflower seeds in place of walnuts.
For a soy-free option, omit the tamari and replace with sea salt.