Faux gras - mushroom, walnut, lentil paté
Christmas might be three weeks away, but I have been living with it for months already. A few weeks ago I worked on a Christmas issue for a swedish food magazine and now I'm all inspired to gather my own vegetarian holiday recipes on this blog.
Starting with this Faux gras, a mushroom and lentil paté made to resemble the famous and luxurious Fois Gras, a paté made of fat duck and geese livers. The real Fois Gras is in public debate as it involves force feeding the birds to produce extra fatty livers. So needles to say, even if you are not a vegetarian, you might want to find kinder options for your festive table. Like this perfectly plant based option.
I love everything faux, as you might have noticed by now. And coming up with a recipe for the faux gras, meant trying to find a tasty mixture with a round fat flavor - that had enough complexity to thrill. My first try was tasty but not nailing it.. a mistake was adding vinegar and too much herbs, sure it was a tasty paté, but not the faux gras I was looking for. A few adjustments later and I'm happy to have a worthy contender to the real deal on my Christmas table.
The fat is the key to the flavor when it comes to making the faux gras. I'm using butter and olive oil here. You can use coconut oil or a mildly flavored (vegan) vegetable oil instead.
Before serving, it's best to keep the paté in room temperature, as the fridge cold will harden the consistency. Ultimately, I would have loved to achieve a more light and moussy consistency, If you are making this recipe at home and make a tweak that achieves that light and fluffy consistency, please let me know how in the comment fields.
It's a perfect nibble or side dish on a smörgåsbord. Serving this with caramelized onions or fig confit is truly delicious. Add cheeses, fruit, nuts, warming gluhwein or just good quality organic wine for a relaxed gathering.
This season is all about enjoying and getting together. I'll be making my kind of food and adding my favorites to the Christmas and holiday menu, keeping what's good of the the traditional dishes and swopping the out dated for new and better versions.
After posting this, I'm starting a little fire in our fireplace and will be warming up gluhwein for a friend coming over, there will be a little tasting of the faux gras with a cheese board, good talks and music. Time to cosy up around winter delicacies like this!
Here's how to:
Faux gras - Mushroom, walnut, lentil paté
makes a bowl
2 shallots, finely chopped
one small red onion, finely chopped
150 gr mushrooms, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp butter or coconut oil for frying (and extra if needed)
1/2 cup green or brown lentils, cooked and well drained
200 gr white broad beans or chick peas, cooked
1 garlic + 1 tsp salt (crush the garlic into the salt with a for)
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
3 tbsp butter (substitute with olive oil for a vegan version)
½ - 1 tbsp arrow root
1 tbsp fresh tarragon or thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp soy
1 good handful walnuts, very finely chopped
A good swirl extra fine virgin olive oil
Optional: a few drops truffel oil
fresh thyme and fig confit, crackers or mini toasts.
1. In a greased pan, sauté the onion slowly on medium low heat for two minutes.
2. Add the chopped mushrooms, a pinch black pepper, ground fennel seeds and fry together with the onions for a 3-4 minutes.
3. Add well drained cooked lentils and white beans, walnuts, herbs, soy, arrow root and the garlic salt. Let it all sweat together on low heat for a 3-4 minutes.
4. Take the mushrooms mixture of the heat and mix in a food processor or with a hand held mixer, adding a good swirl of extra virgin olive for taste and consistency. Mix until until smooth. Let it cool and serve with caramelized onion or fig confit.
The faux gras, can be stored several days before serving in the fridge in an air tight container. Before serving, leave it in room temperature for half an hour.