This classic Old-World appetizer has far fewer calories and much less fat than its animal-based counterpart, but it tastes so hearty and delicious. Lentils cook quickly, too, a real plus for the busy holiday season. Here is the recipe for Italian Lentil Pate.
3 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup leftover cooked lentils (cooked in vegetable broth with 1 clove garlic)
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is completely soft and caramelized.
2. Blend the caramelized onion, lentils, pine nuts, remaining 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, oregano, and thyme in a food processor until completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.