Red Lentil Pate (B-)

October 2, 2006 at 5:19 am (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe)

This recipe for red lentil pate is from the cookbook The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.

1 cup large or small red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. In a 3-quart saucepan (I used a 2 qt pan) over medium heat, combine the lentils and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Skim and discard any foam and add the bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain.

2. While the lentils simmer, in a small saute pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and pine nuts and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion softens and the pine nuts begin to color. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, coriander, caraway seeds, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Continue to saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice to deglaze the pan.

3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the cooked lentils and onion mixture and puree until smooth.

4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at once or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

My Notes

I admit, I didn’t follow the recipe completely. I only used 1 Tbs. olive oil and 2 Tbs. pine nuts. The dip was so thin I added maybe 1/2 cup chickpeas to thicken it up.

I tasted it after it was done and the lentils had a nice subtle sweet flavor, but otherwise I thought it was very bland. So I added a bit more caraway a bit more tomato paste, the zest from the whole lemon, and the juice from the other half of the lemon. It ended up very lemon-y tasting. I still wasn’t that fond of it, personally, but others seemed to like it quite a bit.

Rating: B-


  1. Marcela said,

    has anyone had any success with berley’s chickpea flour crepes? mine were a disaster! would appreciate any tips … thanks!

  2. captious said,

    Hmm, I can’t remember if I’ve tried that recipe. If I did it was a long time ago. I have chickpea flour though, so I’ll hopefully try out the recipe soon.

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