Lentil Pate with Bell Pepper Piperade Recipe
(Piperade Recipe is listed separately)
1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. whole coriander
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (6 years old or older)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 lb crimini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced lengthwise
Nonstick spray or high-heat cooking oil (like Rice Bran oil)
1 cup walnut pieces, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2. Bring lentils and water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan with bay leaf, coriander and cumin. When bubbling furiously, turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Cook until very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, combine the powders with the soy and vinegar and whisk them together well. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat. Coat baking sheet well with a few teaspoons of oil, using a paper towel or brush to spread it around evenly. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet and spread them out evenly across the surface. Let these roast for about 20-30 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes with a spatula. They should be slightly caramelized and somewhat dry by the time they’re done. If they’re still very moist, let them cook for a while longer.
4. While mushrooms are cooking, toss the walnuts and lentils together. Roughly pulse them together, in batches if necessary, in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. The texture should be fairly coarse. Remove this mixture from the work bowl to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
5. When the mushrooms are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly on the baking sheet set over a cooling rack. Add them to the lentil and walnut mixture and mix them together with your hands or with two wooden spoons. Pulse this mixture together, again, in your food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Again, do it in as many batches as necessary to avoid overcrowding the work bowl. The result should be a moderately smooth mixture, but if you’d like it to be very silken you can puree it even further, until it is quite smooth.
6. Line the inside of a loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2”) with plastic wrap. Fill the loaf pan with the lentil, walnut and mushroom mixture. Gently tap the bottom of the loaf pan on a flat surface to settle the mixture. Place in refrigerator and chill until set, at least 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve with Piperade (see recipes) or your favorite red pepper sauce, onion confit, or fresh salsa.