Lentil and mushroom paté with caramelized onions and walnuts

A delicious paté that makes a great appetizer or nice lunch you could also pack for work. Serve with bread or crackers.

- 1 cup green lentils, picked and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 400 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 2-3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper

  Place lentils in a pot, cover with about 2 inches of water, add the bay leaf and boil for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Discard bay leaf and drain lentils.
  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a non stick pan, add the onions and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent. Add the mushroom slices, a bit more salt and continue cooking, stirring often, until mushrooms start to lightly brown. At this point add the oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the walnuts, toss to combine, add 2 Tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook for about more 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add the fresh parsley. Scoop out about 3 Tablespoons of the mixture and reserve to garnish.
  In a food processor, blend the lentils with the mushroom mixture until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, you could add more balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano or parsley. 
  The paté can be served right away or you could place it in a loaf pan or muffin tin lined with plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour.
  Garnish the paté with the reserved mushrooms. Enjoy!

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