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Lentil Walnut Pâté

(recipe, Terry Walters)


This dip reminds me of the chopped liver my mother used to make when I was a child, only better. While it works without the walnuts, they add richness and complexity that's well worth the extra fuss. Serve with pita chips, thin rye bread rounds, or crackers.


  1. 1 cup brown or green lentils
  2. 1 thumb-size piece of kombu
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 2 onions, chopped
  6. 1 cup walnut pieces
  7. Ume plum vinegar
  8. Water and/or extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse the lentils and place them in the pot of a rice cooker with the kombu and water. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, discard the kombu, and set the lentils aside.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, crush or chop the walnuts and roast them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12 minutes or until golden brown. In a medium skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Place the cooked lentils in a food processor with the roasted walnuts, sautéed onions, and a few dashes of vinegar. Add water and/or olive oil a tablespoon at a time and process until smooth. Season to taste with vinegar and serve at room temperature or cold.