Recipe by Grace Lynn
I found this recipe on Washingtonpost.com and just made a batch for this weekend's dinner party. It's so delicious that I had to come and post it right away to share! Serve with whole-grain crackers or rye toast, garnish with thyme, if desired. Pate can be made, covered and refrigerated 2 days in advance.
- 1⁄3 cup dried brown lentils
- 2 sprigs thyme, plus more for optional garnish
- 1 teaspoon medium-grain seat salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat side of a knife, then minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry
- 1⁄2 cup toasted pecan halves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Directions See How It's Made
- Cover the lentils with an inch of water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook until tender, about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat so the water is barely bubbling. Remove from the heat, stir in the thyme sprigs and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until warm. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and cook until translucent, 7 or 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, toss to coat with the onions, cover partly and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until most of the remaining liquid evaporates. Add the sherry and cook until it just glosses the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat.
- Pulse the pecans in the bowl of a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the onion-mushroom mixture and process until just combined. Drain the lentils, reserving the cooking liquid for another use, if desired, and add them to the food processor along with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Process until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and pulse just until combined. It should be about the consistency of peanut butter.
- The pate can be served in a bowl immediately, garnished with additional thyme, if desired. It can also be molded. Transfer the pate into a small loaf pan or bowl lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to serve, unmold the pate onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap. Garnish with additional thyme, if desired.