Puy Lentil Pâté
“Puy lentil pâté has the texture of a classic pâté, tons of taste, endless possibilities but no meat, dairy or wheat. I began by simply simmering the lentils in 4 times their volume of water. Once they were soft, I pureed the lentils and cooking liquor for a couple of minutes and just like that I had a lovely pate. Puy lentils have a pronounced flavour alone, but they are also brilliant at welcoming other aromas. First I tried Roast pumpkin seed oil which gave the pate a richer texture and delightful roasted notes, next, the extra virgin olive oil and a layer of diced tomatoes with basil that gave me the fresh and colourful pate that I’ll share with you here.”
by Alex Mackay
Suitable for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegans and vegetarians
- 125g of Merchant Gourmet Dried Puy Lentils
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 800ml water
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and sugar to taste
For the Topping
- 2 large tomatoes, de-seeded (not skinned) and finely diced
- 2 tbsp sliced basil
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar
- Sour dough bread, mixed grain or pain de Campagne for toasting or grilling
- Crisp baby gem, romaine heart or endive leaves
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Serve with grilled toast, romaine or baby gem leaves, endive leaves, any raw vegetable.
Prep ahead The pâté can be made up to 2 days ahead.
1.Get a medium sized pan that you have a lid for. Add the lentils, garlic and water. Cover. Bring to the boil, take the lid off, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through, at this stage they usually have a little bite, right in the middle. Add the half tsp salt and quarter tsp sugar. Cover the pan and leave to sit for 10 minutes. This period “rests” the lentils and lets them finish cooking completely.
2.Spoon the lentils and some of their cooking liquor into your liquidiser. Keep any remaining cooking liquor as you may need to add it. Add the olive oil. Blend the lentils for 2-3 minutes until the pate is totally smooth. If the pâté is too thick, add more olive oil or cooking liquor. There is no “correct thickness” but I prefer it roughly the texture of thick soup when I blend it as the pâté hardens when it cools. As you blend the lentils, you may need to stop the liquidiser a few times to scrape down the sides. The longer you liquidise the pâté for, the smoother and lighter it will be.
3.Season the pâté to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar. Spoon the pâté into ramekins or small jars and smooth down the top as best you can. Mix the diced tomato and basil together. Season to taste and spread it over the pâté in an even layer. Finally, spoon the extra virgin olive oil over the top.
4.Serve with fresh toast or grilled bread and crisp whole baby gem, romaine heart or endive leaves, pita bread and crudités.
How'd you get on?
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