Monday, January 2, 2012

Vegan Lentil Pâté


If you’ve had pâté before, the animal kind, and enjoyed it – then you will most likely be a fan of this vegan version. As you may know if you eat lentils, they almost mimic meat in that they are protein rich and super filling. While the flavors in this create a pâté that is unique, it is remarkably reminiscent of it’s animal-based counterparts.


If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. There are a bunch of less common, perhaps even intimidating, ingredients in this recipe. Finding Umeboshi paste (plum paste) took a trip to the local Asian Supermarket where I could not find it, a trip to my local health food store where it was too expensive for my wallet and finally a trip to Whole Foods where I splurged on it because I had a gift certificate. The Mirin (sweet cooking sauce) and Miso I picked up at the Asian Supermarket for quite a bit less than the regular supermarket/health food store. The French lentils I picked up in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and they were even cheaper at my local health food store. So all in all, it’s not a cheap dish but you’ll only be using a bit of the more expensive ingredients so you can make it many times (and I suspect after one taste you will want to) over.


If it’s the actual idea that this is pâté that makes you reluctant, perhaps you are vegan, don’t let that deter you. It doesn’t taste “meaty” by any means, it is reminiscent of pâté in that it has great depth of flavors.


Vegan Lentil Pâté

from Bojon Gourmet


  • 3/4 c dried green lentils (sometimes called “French lentils”)
  • 3 c water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T Mirin
  • 1 1/4 c walnuts (I used a combination of walnuts, pecans and cashews – what I had on hand), toasted in oven at 350 for 10 minutes and cooled
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 T miso (I used the yellow/brown variety)
  • 1 1/2 T Umeboshi paste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Add water, lentils and bay leaf to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then cover partially and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally to ensure lentils don’t stick to bottom of pan. When lentils are done, drain and allow to cool completely. I suggest putting them in the refrigerator, spread on a plate, to speed up the process.

While lentils are cooking, add 2 T olive oil to another pan heated over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Mirin and remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely, I put mine in the refrigerator to speed this up.

Add the toasted and cooled nuts to the food processor and process until they have become the consistency of nut butter. Add the lentils and onion-garlic mixture and process until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Drizzle with olive oil and additional fresh herbs for serving. I served mine with a baguette cut into thin slices.



  1. Oooooh! *squeaks* This looks so good! Real pate is one of my weaknesses (that which prevents me from true vegetarianism ;) ) but this looks utterly, utterly perfect as a substitute :)

  2. I've only had pate once, but I really liked it. I would definitely try this!

  3. I think I like pate! I've maybe had it once or twice. great looking recipe, and Happy New Year!

  4. Haha, it's usually included on many charcuterie plates! Happy New Year to you too!

  5. Well we could FINALLY have drinks and I could make some (since I too, am trying to go out less). I think I just invited you over. Is that creepy?

  6. I was just looking at a vegetarian pate in the store! Love the idea of making your own (the packaged was SO expensive). I'm bookmarking this to make for book club next month!

  7. i love pate! i was in boston over nye and we had some food and drinks at brasserie jo. we had the charcuterie plate, which came with both pork and chicken liver pate. so good! this, however, looks far healthier, and of course vegan. i want to try it!


  8. Looks incredible! I've rarely had good luck preparing lentils in my own home but this I could definitely do! Thanks for sharing and for all the scrumptious photos!

  9. Definitely let me know how it comes out!

  10. It was delicious... a fair substitute for the "real" thing.

  11. I eat meat but actually prefer vegetarian pate. This looks amazing.

  12. As do I... the vegetarian stuff is just SO good though, I don't see the need to eat the real thing (or spend the money on it!)