Makes 2 cups
This recipe comes courtesy of Seattle’s celebrated veg restaurant Café Flora. A perennial favorite among Cafe Flora diners, the spread is served with gherkins, apple slices, marinated olives, and crackers made by a local bakery
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (1½ cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tsp. chopped fresh sage
- ½ cup toasted pecan pieces
- 2 Tbs. mirin (rice wine)
- 1 Tbs. light miso (Japanese bean paste)
- 1 tsp. umeboshi (sour plum) paste or sherry vinegar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
1. Place lentils, bay leaf, and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until lentils are very soft. Cool, then remove bay leaf.
2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and translucent, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to low, and cook onion 15 to 20 minutes more, or until browned and caramelized, stirring occasionally. If onion starts to stick, add 1 to 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.
3. Place lentils and onion mixture in food processor with pecans, mirin, miso, umeboshi paste, salt, and pepper. Purée 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.