White bean pate

April 28, 2006 at 8:37 am (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Beans, Ron Pickarski)

I’ve had so many versions of white bean pate at vegetarian restaurants, and I generally find them bland and unappealing. I loved this one though. I could just sit there and eat bowls of it with a spoon. It reminds me a lot of the green been pate my mom makes on Passover. It’s pretty darn healthy too. This is a variant of the Pate Francais Recipe from a cookbook by Ron Pickarski.

Pate Seasoning Blend
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. whole dried thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. clove powder

The Pate
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups diced onions
2 cups chopped mushrooms
4 tsp Pate Seasoning blend (above)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups unsalted navy beans or garbanzo beans (I prefer navy beans)


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoning blend, stir well, and transfer to a covered container. You will have lots leftover. You can save it and use it for this recipe again, or the seasoning blend can be used with many other dishes: just add 1 tsp of the blend per pound of protein.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 min or until lightly browned and very fragrant. Remove from oven and transfer walnuts to a container to cool slightly.
  3. In a 10 inch frying pan, heat the oil and saute the onions, mushrooms, seasoning blen, salt and beans over medium-low. heat for 10 min. There’s almost no oil since the walnuts provide plenty of fat, which means you have to be careful not to let the vegetables burn. Just keep it at low and stir occasionally. The onions should start to carmelize toward the end for optimal flavor. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Add the walnuts to a food processor and chop them coarsely. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor bowl and process until smooth. I thought it was tasty hot, but it’s meant to be served cold or at room temperature, so refrigerate in a covered container for 1 hour or until chilled through.

The author estimated it to take about 40 minutes prep time and 1 hour chill time.

My Notes

It’s a bit annoying that the seasoning blend makes extra (just over twice as much as needed for the recipe).  You can save the extra for a second batch, or use it in another recipe.  Or, if you don’t want extra spice mix around, then just add almost 1/2 tsp. of each spice, and a skimpy 1/4 tsp. of cloves.  Or use a full 1/2 tsp. and increase all the other amounts slightly.

What to serve this pate with? I think it goes really well with radishes, with raw green beans, and with celery. Carrots are okay, but a bit too sweet. Bell peppers don’t go as well. Not sure about other raw veggies. I tried it on Triscuits and couldn’t really taste it much. I wonder if it would work as a sandwich spread? Other ideas?

Derek said this was unusually flavorful for a veggie pate, but thought it was too salty. I just realized that I used canned beans the second time which were probably salted, vs. the homemade beans I used originally. No wonder it came out saltier.  Next time if I use salted beans I will decrease the salt to just 1 tsp.

I really love this pate—the texture, the flavor, everything. But I gave it to some friends at work and they seemed less enthusiastic. Ben said it had good depth but needed more brightness. They generally thought it was too subtle. I also brought it to a party and people didn’t touch it–they preferred the hummus and red lentil pate. If other people liked this more I would definitely rate it an A, as I think the recipe is perfect.

The appearance of this pate is a bit off-putting.  The color is brownish beige and the smooth texture reminds some people of …. well, you know.  I wonder if there’s some way to serve it so that you don’t actually see it?

Rating: A-
Derek: B+

I need to double check this, but I think I got about 3.75 cups of pate in the end (about 720g), so about seven 1/2 cup (102.8g) servings.  Each 200 calorie servings has about 18% of folate, 16% of magnesium, and 15% of potassium.  Calories from protein/fat/carbs:  14.5%/44%/41.5%.

Nutritional facts for 1/7 of recipe (about 1/2 cup), logging 358g “white beans”, 192g white mushrooms, and 100g walnuts:

Calories 199
Total Fat 10.4g
Saturated Fat 2.2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 459mg
Carbohydrate 20.9g
Dietary Fiber 5.6g
Sugars 3.1g
Protein 8.7g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 8% Iron 16%


  1. My favorite raw veggies and accompanying dips | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] white bean and mushroom pate […]

  2. Tallulah said,

    If you add just a tiny bit of turmeric it shouldn’t have a strong flavor, but will improve the color.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: