French Lentil Pâté

Ah, it’s here…Spring.  A time of rejuvenation and rebirth, and a time to transition our bodies and our minds from Winter to Summer.  Food is, of course, one of the primary markers of this transition.  For me, Winter is all about soups and other warm, nurturing meals.  As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, I anxiously await fresh veggies and fruits from my local farms and soon-to-be garden, rather than my trusy local grocery store.  And, of course, meals get lighter and often more portable for things like potlucks, picnics and last minute trips to the park with friends. 

I’m no fool, though.  Despite the fact that it was too warm for long pants on our 9am hike this morning, I know that Winter weather will make a comeback or two or three (it’ll be back tomorrow, in fact).  This recipe is, to me, a nice combination of Winter and Summer.  It offers the warmth of ginger and hearty French lentils, along with the portability of a Summer picnic lunch.  Ginger and shiitakes are great for immunity too, and parsley is cleansing.  Plus, here in Colorado, we seem to have local shiitake mushrooms available for most of the year.   

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped shallot (or scallion)
  • 3 large shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups French lentils
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • optional – a splash of fresh lemon juice for seasoning

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, then saute the shallot and shiitakes until the shallot is slightly browned.  Deglaze the pan with mirin, then turn off the heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil.  Put the cooked vegetables and remaining ingredients and a food processor and process until well combined and desired consistency is reached.  Enjoy as a sandwich spread, a dip for crackers and crudites, or as a light meal served on top of a mixed green salad.   

P.S. this dip freezes well and it’s always nice to have some on the ready for last minute lunches and outings.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Spice Carrot Cashew Butter with hearty bread Winter Squash Soup French Lentil Patewith […]

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