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.
Adapted from The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Renee Loux. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006).