This makes a perfect starter, whether for a dinner party or more casual al-fresco dining. The idea came from "Sarah Brown's Vegetarian Cookbook", but I simplified it with canned ingredients and changed the seasoning. It worked so well that I’ve never made the original recipe! The texture is more of a thick salsa than a traditional pate and is good served with crackers, rye bread, blinis and sour cream. This pate is rich, so a little goes a long way. Sarah Brown is a British writer and presented a programme called "Vegetarian Kitchen" for the BBC.
- Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds; add the onions and garlic and saute gently for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, honey, a pinch of celery salt and honey; mix together and cook gently for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine, bring to the boil and simmer for another 20 minutes, uncovered.
- Turn up the heat and stir vigorously until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of a soft pate (or a very thick salsa); this final stage will take about 5 minutes, but cooking time will depend on the thickness of the juice the chopped tomatoes are packed in (and how much it evaporates during the simmering stage).
- Turn into a serving dish and allow to cool; the flavours will intensify, the longer you leave the pate before eating.