Thursday, 3 February 2011

Red Lentil Pate

Kitchen Playlist - Maroon 5 ~ It Won't Be Soon Before Long Album

I would never take credit for anyone else's work  or creation and I always give credit  where its due. But I truly  do not have any idea where this recipe originated. I found it on an American website posted by Anon. But whoever they are...Thank you. I use this pate as a topping for salad, for a sandwich filling, on crackers or toast. It has so many uses. It also looks great as part of a buffet. So it you have a vegetarian or vegan coming to an event and you are trying to work out what to provide for them...try this. I promise it wouldn't disappoint.  Unless they dislike fennel?  Then  it may not be so good. lol. It makes quite a large pate. I make mine and leave it to set in a large rectangle pyrex dish that has a lid.  Then it sits in the fridge and keeps for up to a week. For a buffet I line a loaf tin with cling film and then fill with the mixture and leave it to set then simply unmold it and gently take off the cling film and add simple but elegant garnish. But please make sure its had the maximum setting time. Lol. 

Red Lentil Pate 
(original recipe by Anon)

1 1/2 cups finely diced onions (2 1/2 med-lrg onions)
1 cup finely diced shallots (10 small round shallots)
2 tsp Rotino Healthier Cooking oil or oil of choice
1 tsp Fennel seeds, gently crushed in a mortor 
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup veggie broth or water
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups of red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 bayleaf
freshly ground black pepper to season 

If molding in a loaf tin. line with cling film and set aside. Or ready your dish of choice.

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil and then add the onions and shallots. Saute for 8 minutes until the onions and shallots begin to brown. Stir in the fennel, thyme, garlic, and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the broth and scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until most of the broth evaporates, approx 30 seconds.

Add the water. lentils and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Season with pepper and continue cooking until the lentils have melted into a coarse puree. You may need to add a little bit more water at this stage. I usually have a small cup of water next to the pan whilst the lentils cook out. But I can't stress not add alot of extra liquid. You will need to keep a close eye on it at this time. 
Cook for approx 15 minutes longer. Remove the bayleaf and re-season with pepper. 

Stir well, mashing down any whole lentils against the side of the pan. If the puree is still quite loose then cook out without a cover for another 5 minutes. Keeping a constant eye on it. It should thicken quickly. 

Pour the puree into your pyrex dish or loaf pan. Smooth the mixture over. Leave to cool down to room temperature. Then cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before eating. 

If i'm serving this at a function I leave it to set overnight. Just to be safe! lol