Red Lentil-Walnut Pate

This is a great party dip. Richly flavored and packed with protein, it is a real conversation starter. Serve with crackers, toast points or spooned onto Belgian endive leaves.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredient List: 

2 cups red lentils, sorted and rinsed well
1 bay leaf
3-4 cups spring or filtered water
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 onion, small dice
Generous pinch chili powder
organic soy sauce
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, lightly pan toasted
small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, finely minced
small handful fresh basil leaves, finely minced
1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar, red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Step By Step Instructions: 

Place lentils, bay leaf and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat for 35 minutes, until beans have become very creamy. Remove and discard bay leaf, season lightly with soy sauce and simmer 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and sauté garlic and onions with chili powder and a pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Transfer cooked beans, vegetables, walnuts, parsley and soy sauce to taste to a food processor. Puree until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a mixing bowl and stir in vinegars. Mix well and spoon into a serving bowl and serve warm.

Cook’s Tip: For this recipe, I always pan toast the nuts instead of oven- roasting them. They have a much nicer flavor when cooked that way.