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
●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
For now, let’s rewind to Friday, when I had dinner with Kath at Angelica Kitchen. Angelica is one of my favorite vegan restaurants. It’s been around for years, and the food and menu are consistently wholesome, nourishing, and delicious. 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), the Dragon bowls (basically a macro bowl) and the pantry plates (wherein you can likewise pair up cold appetizers, spreads, and salads).
Angelica’s dips and spreads are pretty memorable, too, and I think the highlight is the restaurant’s walnut and lentil pate. It’s a sweet, salty, and super savory mixture of lentils, walnuts, and spices. I love it so much that I recently created a version of my own. Here’s the recipe.
- ¾ cup brown or green lentils
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed thyme)
- 1 tablespoon rice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white or red miso (optional, but if you omit, add an extra ¼ teaspoon salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the lentils in a medium sized sauce pan. Fill the pan with enough water to submerge the lentils by a few inches. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not watery or mushy (I always check at the 18-minute mark). Drain the lentils and set them aside.
- Heat a medium sized sautee pan over low heat. Add the walnuts. Toast them, stirring constantly, until they're browning lightly and fragrant. Remove them from heat and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove and increase the heat to medium. Add the olive oil and shallots. Cook the shallots for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and then add the garlic. Cook the garlic and shallots for another 3 minutes, or until everything is soft and fragrant. Add the lentils and combine ingredients well. Remove the pan from heat.
- Add the walnuts to your food processor, along with the salt. Process until the walnuts form a fine meal. Add the lentil mixture and all other ingredients, along with ⅓-1/2 cup water (as much as you need to get a thick, yet smooth and spreadable consistency, similar to hummus). Process till smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl down. Serve the pate with toast, crackers, or vegetable crudites, or stuff it into a raw collard wrap! Enjoy.
Angelica tops the pate with a wonderful, dill-infused tofu sour cream, which I didn’t make myself when I was making this recipe. But I’m sure that any vegan cream–a cashew cream, maybe, or a tahini dressing–would add a lot of decadence to the dip. I love how rich in protein this dip is, not to mention the rich amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, courtesy of the walnuts. And I love the savory mixture of vinegar, salt, and miso.
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 Kitchen 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.