Walnut Lentil Pate

by Gena on April 4, 2010

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Happy Easter!

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already; this weekend has flown by. The good news is that it’s been full of nice activities, including, but not limited to:

  • A visit from my bestie, who’s in the midst of planning her June wedding (!!)
  • Catching up on the approximately 19379347 submissions I’ve got to read for work
  • A bloggie meet up on Friday
  • Church this morning, and Easter festivities with said bestie this afternoon (if gossiping and movie watching count as Easter festivity — does it?)
  • A tiny bit of cooking this afternoon

Good times! Let’s rewind to Friday, when I got to hang out with a blogger you all know and love: Ms. Kath. Kath and I have been friends for some time; her no-BS, supportive-yet-tough-love emails helped me get through quitting nearly two (!!!) years ago, and we’ve since hung out in New Orleans, at the Healthy Living Summit, and in NYC. Kath was in town this weekend spontaneously to work with some of the folks at Open Sky. Little did she know that Open Sky happens to be one floor above me in my office building! What an unbelievably small world! It was fun having a visiting friend so close all day; we felt like de facto coworkers.

And lucky me, Kath brought me a mid-afternoon snack on Friday, just as my stomach was rumbling for a little something: Great Harvest bread and Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Sunbutter.

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Um, holy yum! This was scrumptious! The bread was soft and hearty without feeling stiff or heavy. I loved the little pumpkin seeds atop it. And as for the Sunbutter, well, it was love at first bite. I love anything with cinnamon OR vanilla, and I love the combo even more. Two thumbs waaaay up!

Later that evening, Kath and I took a little walk through the Flatiron district (thanks to Kath for being our photojournalist for the evening — mama has mad camera skills!):

flatiron

And then grabbed dinner at one of my absolute fave NYC spots: Angelica Kitchen.

angelica

Alas, there was a bit of a wait. Knowing that Angelica is BYOB, though, we thought it would be fun to hop over to nearby Liquiteria for some juice with which to make mocktails.

liquiteria

We settled on Liquiteria’s famous grasshopper, a pineapple, mint, wheatgrass concoction that’s always a winner:

grasshopper

Me with the booty:

gena-liquiteria

We picked up some fizz, and returned to Angelica to claim a table. We were ravenous!

To say I worship at the Angelica altar is really no exaggeration. With its emphasis on wholesome, organic cuisine, it’s cozy setting, it’s friendly wait staff, it’s extensive menu (which features raw AND cooked options — just the way I like it!), not to mention it’s famous vegan cornbread, Angelica is high on my list of favorite NYC dining spots — even, dare I say it, a contender for #1 ranking! My fave dishes include the thai me up (a raw carrot and daikon dish), the curried cashew spread, the roast vegetable salad, the hearty combo bowls (wherein you can pair a grain, veggies, sea veggies, and beans in any combination you like), and the pantry plates (wherein you can likewise pair up cold appetizers, spreads, and salads). Angelica’s millet, cooked in carrot juice, is notoriously incredible, so I usually opt for a combo bowl with millet as the base. In celebration of spring weather, though, I was more in the mood for a cool plate of raw and cooked foods.

Before I get to the chow, though, let me show you our mocktails! One part grasshopper, one part fizz, these were stellar:

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Can you tell I’m a happy camper?

gena-mocktail

Kath and I began with Angelica’s signature walnut and lentil pate, served with veggies:

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…which was sweet, tangy, and salty (in a good way) all at once.

I then moved onto a pantry plate with hummus, simple salad, roast caulifower, and baked tempeh. I don’t tend to eat tempeh too often, but it is my favorite soy dish, and I love the way Angelica prepares it, with a simple marinade. The goods:

pantry-plate

Yum!

Later that evening, Kath and I met up with Maggie, Shane, and my homie, Mel, for cocktails and mineral water at Flatiron Lounge. And as we split a cab uptown, I introduced Kath to the incomparable joys of Bonobos coconut chai. She swooned, I swooned. The end.

Fast forward two days later, and I was still dreaming of Angelica’s wonderful cuisine–especially that walnut and lentil pate. Now, I’ve flipped through the Angelica cookbook before, and noticed that the pate is all cooked: the lentils are cooked, and the walnuts roasted. I’m cool with that, but I did think it would be fun to raw-ify the recipe a bit, using raw walnuts instead of roasted ones (added health benefit: roasting nuts can bring out rancidity, so while it’s 100% cool to enjoy them this way once in a while, you may want to opt to eat them raw when you can).

I also happen to know that the original pate calls for quite a bit of sauteed onion and garlic. Kudos to Angelica; neither Kath nor I were offended by the taste, and neither of us are garlic fans — let alone onion fans!! To bring that bit of onion to my own version, I simply used a touch of onion powder; keep in mind that you certainly could add some fresh onion to it if you like.

Could you make this all raw by using sprouted lentils? You sure could. I have a serious problem with sprouted legumes–the starchy, hard texture just kills me–but for those of you who dig them, go for it.

Here’s the recipe:

Gena’s Walnut and Lentil Pate (yields 1 3/4 cups)

1 cup raw walnuts
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tarragon, dried
1 tsp thyme, dried
1 tsp parsley, dried
1/4-1/2 tsp onion powder (or a bit of fresh onion, chopped, if you like)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place walnuts in a food processor and process till they’re ground finely. Add all remaining ingredients except for oil and process till smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, and you may also need to add a little water to thin it. After the mix is well combined, add the olive oil in a thin stream with the motor running, reserving just a drizzle to top the spread with.

Serve this with crudites, pita chips, or in raw collard wraps for a healthy and exceptionally protein-packed treat!

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My version:

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Angelica’s version:

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So I didn’t have a fancy tofu dill sauce to top it with, and it’s not quite as pretty, but I think it turned out alright. And it sure tasted delicious!

A few of you have asked me lately if I always note when a dish is miscombined. I don’t — I think the effect of that is to lessen a good meal, and you all know by now that I think combining should be a selective process — but I will start tagging well combined dishes. This pate isn’t well combined by more complex standards, but from a simplified standpoint, it’s fine: beans are part protein, and nuts are also proteins.

This is by far one of my favorite dips so far, and I hope you all get a chance to enjoy it soon. I love using restaurant food for kitchen inspiration, and when the restaurant in question specializes, as Angelica does, in precisely the kind of food I love to make, inspiration comes easily.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and will be back soon.

xo

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas April 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm

What a delicious dip! I love lentils and walnuts but I never thought how the combo would taste.
If you like the sunflower butter, the pumpkin seed butter is UNREAL

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Joan April 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Thai Me up at Angelica’s Kitchen is one of my absolute favorite raw dishes. I wish I knew their salad dressing recipe! Looks like you had a fun outing, and I am definitely adding that pate recipe to my queue of recipes to try.

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Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) April 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

What a wonderful day! Recipe looks great. Another must try.

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Pure2Raw Twins April 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Looks like a great time with friends ; ) Love lentils!

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Sarah April 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Fantastic!
Do you have any idea how the millet cooked in carrot juice is made? As simple as it sounds?? It strikes my fancy.

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Ameena April 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I love lentils so much but I have never thought of using them as a dip. Great idea.

And as Sarah said, the millet cooked in carrot juice sounds delicious!

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Christine (The Raw Project) April 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Great pics, what a great day! Hmmm, I have a bag of dried lentils to use up in my pantry that this pate would be perfect for. Thanks!

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Katherine April 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Hooray for Angelica and HOORAY for Angelica-inspired dishes a la Gena! The warm weather has found me trolling your blog like a mad woman in preparation for spring and summer :)

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Heather April 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Gah. That looks divine! Must make this asap. :)

Random question. Should roasted buckwheat groats be soaked before consumption? (I know raw buckwheat groats need soaking which is why I’m curious.) I work at a health food store with awesome bulk bins and when a customer abandons their already bagged goodies, we employees get to snag them for free thanks to health codes. Well, a dear person bagged about 3 pounds of roasted buckwheat last night and I took it home with me. Just wondering what I should do with it now before I throw it in a bowl with some almondmilk… Thanks!

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Christina April 4, 2010 at 8:31 pm

ah that all looks so delicious! the cornbread in and of itself…

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Laura April 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Your dip looks delicious! And so does the sunbutter!

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Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) April 5, 2010 at 1:03 am

I’ll have to try this restaurant next time I’m in New York.

I LOVE Naturally Nutty’s butters! Have you tried the Pepita Sun Seed Butter? It’s amazing!

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Amy April 5, 2010 at 3:23 am

Nice pics! I have a very similar recipe for a lentil-walnut spread that I got from an Andrew Weil book years ago – my kids love it!

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 5, 2010 at 5:01 am

What a fun weekend! And this dip look delicious– thanks for sharing! Have a great week, Gena!

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Ian April 5, 2010 at 5:06 am

It all sounds so delicious! I would swoon over anything that restaurant had to offer. How’s their cookbook?

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Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather April 5, 2010 at 5:37 am

The dip sounds great! I’m always trying to find a way to enjoy lentins and this may be the way. Looks like a fun weekend :)

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Catherine April 5, 2010 at 7:23 am

You beat me to the punch on the food combining question! It did bring up another question though – how strict do you get when it comes to food combining? Is it like an every other day kind of thing, or are there some combos you think are worse that others – like fruit with other food groups or proteins & starches, etc.? Thanks!

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Michal April 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

The Angelica looks like such a lovely place to go for a bite to eat, everything looks great. I recently have tried tempeh for the first time and I am in love with it. I bought a package and it has been sitting in my fridge since I have no idea on how I should prepare it! Do you have any suggestions? :)

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The Voracious Vegan April 5, 2010 at 7:35 am

I’m making this FOR SURE! You know how much I love all things dippy and this looks exceptional! Lentils are one of my favorite things to cook with but I’ve never made them into a dip – what a brilliant idea!

I have to say again that you are SO lucky to live in NYC, you have everything you could want right at your fingertips ESPECIALLY delicious restaurants!

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Marcia April 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

Ah, Kath and Gena at the same place? And walnut lentil pate.
:)

I’m so happy.

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BroccoliHut April 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

Your pate looks plenty gorgeous to me–are those endive leaves or collards that you served it on?

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Gena April 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Endives! :-)

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Ricki April 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

What a fun visit! I’ve been dying to go to Angelica myself, for years. Thanks for bringing a little taste of it here. :) And love the photos–you are too adorable!

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The Ordinary Vegetarian April 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I will be trying your pate soon, and I bet that tofu dill sauce would be pretty easy to recreate too. Looks way too delicious to pass up.

Love all the photos too!

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VeggieGirl April 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Love the “holy yum,” haha ;) And I love seeing two great friends having a blast together!

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Melissa April 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I love walnuts and lentils so I can’t wait to try this pate! Thanks for sharing. Sound like you had a great weekend:)

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk April 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Looks like you too had a great time! And walnut-based pates (raw or cooked) are my fave! You too look so adorable in your photos!

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Sylvia April 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Great pictures: food looks delicious, and you are super cute! :)

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caronae April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Sounds like you guys had a good time; I haven’t explored that many good healthy restaurants in the city. BTW I just read your smoking post; I go to Columbia now. Alas, I never lived in John Jay. Do you know of any really tasty/classic/healthy restaurants up here? I always have so much trouble finding non-greasy college student food, so I usually just end up cooking for myself.
Caronae

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Lauren April 6, 2010 at 6:23 am

Sounds like a great weekend!!! I’ve never been to Angelicas, but I’ve heard lots about it! :) Your pate looks great and tempeh is my fav soy food too (that I only have on occasion as well!).

Love the idea of bring your own juice! And great pics of you! XOXO!

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Jess - The Domestic Vegan April 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Love the photos! You’re too cute.

This spread looks delicious!!

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Jessica April 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I just tried that sunbutter and it is AMAZING! Everything else looks great too.

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Kath April 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Just now getting to this post!!

xo

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Ashley April 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm

That juice combo sounds friggin delicious!!!!!!! I need to get back to NYC!

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Steph May 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

I made your lentil pate last night, delicious! But I think you may have forgot some salt :-P

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Gena May 10, 2010 at 11:45 am

WHOA! Thanks, Steph! I totally forgot to write down the 1 tbsp of nama shoyu that I used in this recipe! It’s definitely meant to be there — I’ve edited accordingly, and thanks for the hawk eye!

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Katie March 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thanks for the great recipe! I made this back when you first posted it and loved it. Wondering now whether you could soak the lentils instead of cooking them? Thoughts?

Thanks!
Katie

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Shelle August 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Delicious! I added a splash of lemon juice and used fresh parsley and onion because that is what I had on hand. Thank you for sharing.

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