Walnut Lentil Pate
April 4, 2010

Walnut Lentil Pate | The Full Helping

Savory dips and spreads are one of my favorite snacks, but like a lot of us, I tend to fall into the trap of reaching for hummus again, and again, and again. That’s why I’m so glad to be sharing this vegan walnut lentil pate. It’s creamy, savory, and packed with umami.

The pate was inspired by a signature appetizer at Angelica Kitchen, an iconic vegan restaurant in New York City that is (sadly) closed. Angelica was memorable for many reasons—the wholesome, simple bowls, the giant bowls of noodle soup, the macrobiotic-inspired desserts, always served with a dollop of tofu whip. But when I sat down to eat there, I was always excited to dig into the many dips on the menu. The walnut lentil pate, served with endive leaves and crudités, was my favorite, and I near always placed an order for it.

How to Make Walnut Lentil Pate

Making walnut lentil pate is similar to making hummus or another bean dip. A food processor does the heavy lifting, breaking down the cooked lentils and walnuts and whipping them into a creamy, spreadable dip. A high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) will also work for the recipe, though I find that a food processor allows you to combine the ingredients without having to add a lot of liquid or get frantic with a tamp attachment.

I cook lentils before making the dip, and those instructions are included in the recipe. But you can certainly use a 14.5-ounce can of lentils instead, which is about 1 1/2 cups cooked.

Walnut Lentil Pate Ingredients

I’ve used both toasted and raw walnuts in the recipe. Toasting the walnuts adds a little extra depth of flavor, but it’s definitely not necessary. As for the lentils, any type of lentil is really OK here. I usually use green, brown, or pardina lentils, but I’ve used both beluga and red lentils in a pinch. The texture and flavor is the same!

I keep the seasonings relatively simple here: miso for umami and depth, garlic, lemon and cider vinegar for brightness and acid. Thyme is my favorite herb, but you could certainly add chives, parsley, or another herb that you love.

Walnut Lentil Pate | The Full Helping

Walnut Lentil Pate | The Full Helping

Walnut Lentil Pate

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dry brown or green lentils (or 1 14.5-ounce can lentils, drained)
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (substitute 2 tablespoons vegetable broth)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (optional, but if you omit, add an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • 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 20-25, or until the lentils are tender but not watery or mushy (I always do a first check at the 18-minute mark). Drain the lentils and set them aside.
  • While the lentils cook, heat a medium sized sauté pan over low heat. Add the walnuts. Toast the walnuts for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until they're lightly browned and smell nutty. Remove the walnuts from heat and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the stovetop 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.
  • When the lentils are cooked and drained, add the toasted 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 1/3-1/2 cup water (as much as you need to get a thick, yet smooth and spreadable consistency, similar to hummus). Process the pate till smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl down. Serve the pate with toast, crackers, or vegetable crudités.

Notes

Leftover dip will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Serving Walnut Lentil Pate

Angelica tops its pate with a wonderful, dill-infused tofu sour cream, which I didn’t make myself when I was making this recipe. But you could definitely serve it with a dollop of cashew cream, tofu cream cheese, or even a drizzle of herbaceous tahini dressing. Toast, crackers, and raw veggies are all a good accompaniment.

And of course, the pate can be enjoyed in more ways than dipping! It’s great in sandwiches, and it can even be a savory scoop addition to a grain bowl. One of the nicest things about the pate is the fact that it’s rich in plant protein and healthful fats, so it’s a good way to enrich any meal.

Walnut Lentil Pate | The Full Helping

This is one of my favorite dips so far, and I hope you all get a chance to enjoy it soon!

xo

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    44 Comments
  1. 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.

  2. 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

    • 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!

  3. […] make it for yourself so you too can swoon over the savory, rich, warm, salty/tangy flavor of this lentil walnut pate from Choosing Raw. It is ridiculously amazing and I guarantee I will be making it at least once a week. I love lentils […]

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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? 🙂

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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