This healthy appetizer will surprise you. It tastes more like traditional liver paté than you would imagine. Very good choice for a lighter, vegetarian option. I like to serve it with apple slices as well as crackers or crostini.
- 2/3 cup small, green lentils
- 2 T oil — canola is fine
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ts sea salt 1 ts minced fresh oregano, if you have it
- 3 ts minced fresh basil, if you have it
- 1 ts. minced fresh thyme, if you have it
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1 T dried thyme (plus 1 ts if you aren't using any fresh)
- 1 T dried basil (plus 2 ts if you aren't using any fresh)
- 2 cups walnuts, toasted (see below)
- 2 T Dijon style mustard Fresh pepper
Place 2 cups cold water and the lentils in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Set aside without draining.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until onion begins to soften. Add salt, garlic, and herbs and sauté three or four additional minutes. Set aside to cool.
Toast walnuts in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. When cool, process in a food processor until well ground. Add lentils and cooking liquid, onion mixture, mustard and pepper. Puree until a smooth paste forms, about 4 or 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
This can rest in the refrigerator a day or two. Bring back to room temperature and serve.
Excellent with the 2006 Pinot Noir Southeast Block.