This pate uses toasted pepita seeds -- which, by the way, boast one the highest protein counts, and sauteed onion and garlic. Adding some oregano and thyme make this spread burst with flavor and umami - which is a flavor profile linked with savoriness or meatiness.
After the onions are golden and delicious (about 14 minutes), add the whole shebang to the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, adding a bit of water or cooking lentil liquid.
That's it! Chill and serve!
Lentil and Pepita Pate
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 medium onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (rinse and drain, if canned)
2 teaspoons mellow white miso
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
*If cooking lentils from scratch, reserve about 3 tablespoons of cooking liquid.
1. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and toasted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside in a medium bowl to cool. Once cool, add the seeds to the bowl of a food processor.
2. Heat the oil in the now empty skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion and garlic. Cook, covered, until the onions are golden brown and tender, about 10 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a tablespoon of vegetable broth or water, as needed, if the onions are beginning to stick. Keep the skillet covered to minimize cooking time and loss of liquid.
3. Add the thyme and sage and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the lentils, miso, salt and black pepper. Process the mixture until smooth as possible, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. To make the pate creamy, add a few tablespoons of cooking liquid* or water, a little at a time. Do not add too much liquid, just enough to make the pate creamy.
4. Transfer to an air-tight lid once cooled and chill for at least an hour before serving.
5. Serve with crackers, raw vegetable sticks, toasted pita bread or on a cheese plate. Serve with thin slices of raw onion and thin slices of dill pickle.
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