Posts Tagged ‘pate’

Express Post: Easy Mediterranean Pate

Alfredo’s favourite ever pate.

  • 20 green pitted olives (or use stuffed ones)
  • 3 T walnuts (a large handful)
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a red pepper
  • Component parts, ready for blitzing










Food process until completely smooth, or leave a little texture if you prefer.

Finished article! Delicious.











P.S. Walnuts and red pepper, a delightful match! They also feature in MY favourite pate- “Smoky Walnut Pate”, click for the recipe.

Sunflower seed pesto-pate / How to open a sunflower seed in 3 slick moves

Alfredo and I were both raised on plenty of sunflower seeds.

He used to crack them out of their shell. You know, the black and white shelled ones that you can only buy in pet shops here, only in Spain they are roasted and salted in the shell. Eating pipas is a special part of the Spanish culture, and your upbringing determines whether you spit the shells all over, toss them onto the ground, or make a nice neat pile on a table or in your pocket. How you open them however, transcends all social divide. Everyone does it in a similar way; it takes a special kind of manouvre with teeth, and then tongue to get the seed out, a kind of clack-clack-flick thing. When I met Alfredo, I used to nibble down the side of the shell like a rodent, and then prise it open with my nail, and pull out one seed, by the time he had eaten 10 or 12, lamenting “it’s a lot of work for one little seed.”  “It’s the experience Beth. It’s all part of it” (clack-clack-flick…)  Now I can clack-clack-flick with the best of them. (I make a pile of the shells, just to mention).

While Alfredo was shelling pipas in Spain,  I was eating them too in Norwich, only unroasted, the regular kind of health-food store seeds that I still buy today. They were generally always in our snack cupboard, along with tiger nuts, and other such delights. I did really enjoy sunflower seeds, I remember, and I still do. All of that was by way of introduction to this next simple, delicious recipe.

Sunflower seed pate is simply made by soaking a cup of seeds for a few hours, and then blending them to a paste (in the food processor, not blender) with whichever flavours you enjoy. Mine was simply:

  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds, soaked and drained
  • the juice of half a large lemon
  • a very small glug of olive oil
  • a large pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • a massive handful of basil (Not enough for a family pesto meal, so it had my name on it…..)

Spread on wholesome crackers, or dollop unceremoniously on top of a salad. I did the latter, and you know what- it looks beautiful to me.








Cool nutritioney bit: Unroasted sunflower seeds are very rich in Vitamin E. This is one of the main fat-soluble antioxidants found in cholesterol particles and helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol. Only after it has been oxidized is cholesterol able to adhere to blood vessel walls , increasing risks of strokes and heart disease.

It makes sense then, as well as avoiding harmful cholesterol, to build a diet rich in natural anti-oxidants. It’s easy. You’ve guessed it. Eat more raw plants 🙂

Cumin Lentil Pate

3 (of the many) fantastic reasons to eat lentils.

  • Gram for gram, more protein than beef. And you get some good cattle karma points in addition 🙂  They have three times as much protein when eaten raw (sprouted).
  • Full of fibre, but practically free from fats: in other words, they fill you up, not out.  🙂
  • Rich in folate which helps the breakdown of homocysteine. This is an amino acid which damages artery walls and is associated with heart disease. Happily, the body automatically breaks it down into two benign compounds, but it can only be broken down in the presence of certain nutrients, notably B6, and folate.

Plus, they are cheap, cute, green and make you feel all Mediterranean when you eat them.  This pate is made with canned green lentils for laziness’  convenience’ sake. It’s salty, and full of cumin, just how I like it. You could reduce or eliminate the salt for a great weaning dip/spread.

Important note: While I love food, I am no foodie.I have only made this once, and shared it with my friend, and it received two Seals of Approval (well, four, if you count our little ones, which of course, we do) However, all I did was throw some stuff into the mini chopper until I liked the taste. I have no idea, for example, if the olive oil adds anything in terms of flavour or texture; I don’t really know why I added balsamic and lemon juice….I just tossed it all in with a smile. So if you don’t have all the ingredients, just play around with fat/ saltiness/ herbs/ spices etc until you like the flavour and texture.

Cumin Lentil Pate

  • 2 cups of cooked green lentils (equals one can, rinsed well)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Serve with any of the following:

  • raw vegetables
  • oatcakes
  • green wraps
  • crusty wholegrain bread with roasted peppers on top
  • In a wholewheat pitta bread with salad and sprouts

    Oh, the greyness... 😦

On a sad note: cooked, pureed lentils look an unappetising grey. I never knew that until today, and I was pretty gutted. Like a mushroom pate, only more insipid looking. However, it tastes great. I assure you. Cross my heart and hope to die  live a long and healthy, abundant life. With plenty of lentils, of course.

Almond Pulp Pate

This post is a follow-on from Almond Milk, so you can use your nutritious pulp left over from making your milk, and not feel guilty for throwing away perfectly good food away.

Perish the thought!

You need:








Your almond pulp (about a cup)

Half a red bell pepper

a small hunk of red onion (1/2 a small one, or 1/4 of a larger one. I used 1/4 of this one)

the juice of half a large lemon

one small clove of garlic (optional)

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil*

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons dried Dill

*You could probably reduce the oil to 1/4cup, but make sure your pulp is not too dry. Anyway, don’t worry about it, it’s good for you. Embrace that oleic acid!

In a food processor, combine everything except the pulp, and the dill.

If you do not have a machine, you can hand chop.

I guess the advantage of a food processor is it releases some of the juices of the pepper and onion, making for a moister spread.

Be careful not to overprocess the onion. You want accents of onion, not a homogenised mass of onionness!

It looks like this:

But then when you stir in the pulp and dill, by hand, it becomes this:

Yeah so…… the photo isn’t exactly great….it would look better surrounded by an array of crudites or some wholesome crackers/bread, or forming part of a green wrap…..which are all ways you can use it. My youngest just eats it with a spoon!

Have a wonderful day.

Smoky walnut pate

Sometimes you just need a new spreadalicious experience, and so, this pate was born. It is made of ingredients that I generally always have on hand, and it is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS.

A word on sundried tomatoes. These are great to have in your store cupboard and I use them in quite a few things. Go for the ones that are simply tomatoes, dried in the sun with salt, not the ones in jars with lots of other less-than-desirables. They are quite leathery before soaking, and keep for ages. You could keep one bag in the cupboard, and soak the contents of another bag in extra virgin olive oil in the fridge. that way you always have  nice soft EVOO-esque ones for raw tomato sauces and other creations.

Note: You may as well soak your walnuts alongside your sundried tomatoes, overnight, or a few hours before you whizz this up.

Smoky walnut pate

  • 1 cup of walnut pieces (or pecans.You will not regret using pecans)
  • 4-6 sundried tomato halves*. (I guess, if you have a less salty palate, try using 4, or if your red bell pepper is  small, use less also, so the sweetness and saltiness balance.)

COMBINE WELL in food processor/chopper, then add:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, quite well chopped

Whizz until it is silky smooth and all the red pepper is homogenised. Be patient, and stop periodically if needbe to scrape down the sides or give it a bit of a mix so all the chunks are “caught”.  This is SO GOOD. I am quite blown away by the fact that I made it up, every time I eat it!

I hope someone enjoys this, and I am more than happy to hear suggestions for tweaks from all you creative foodies out there who are more in touch with their palates than me!

*A short P.S. on quantities. I have to say that these quantities may not be suitable for a regular food processor; these are the quantities I use in my mini chopper which is more of a one portion thing. Depending on your food processor these quantities may need to be adjusted. Personally I think that even if you have a large machine, a mini chopper is so useful for small food processing jobs and it is so inexpensive, at least, here in the UK, it is about £16-£18. Happy blitzing.

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