Rice and lentil pate with walnuts [simple recipe!]

I have already mentioned it, but with each upcoming Easter, the same light bulb always goes on in my head: pate! I remember those scenes from my childhood: attaching a clunky manual meat-grinder to the table, soaking bread rolls for a tender and moist pate, then finally tasting the spicy flavour of nutmeg for the first time. And although today my pate-making process looks completely different, I am very pleased that the end result is definitely as good as the pate that I remember from my childhood.

Today’s recipe is the result of a really simplified process that I have managed to work out: both frying and cooking takes place in the same pot, so there is hardly any washing up later. The ingredients used to prepare this pate are really basic. This moist and aromatic vegan “roast” is perfect for a festive breakfast: it tastes great on a slice of fresh, crispy bread.

Ingredients in the order of appearing in the recipe:

  • 2 onions or the entire white part of a leek
  • 1/2 cup rapeseed or sunflower seed oil
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 dried juniper fruits (can be replaced with allspice)
  • 1 large handful of walnuts
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
  • 3/4 cup dry rice (long grain, white rice: like basmati or jasmine rice, which is soft after about 10-12 minutes of cooking)
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 handful of dried mushrooms (forest mushrooms or even shiitake; although you can do without them)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 extra handful of walnuts
  1. Peel the onions and cut them in the slices. At the bottom of a large pot, heat the oil, add bay leaves, juniper, walnuts and chopped onion. Fry over medium heat for around 6 minutes to make the onion nicely golden and even brown in some places (the flavour!)

  2. Add the nutmeg, black pepper and marjoram to the browned, aromatic onion. Let the spices cook for 1 -2 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, prepare the rice and lentils: rinse them well in a strainer under running water.

  4. Gently pull out the bay leaves and juniper fruits from the onion. Add all the remaining ingredients to the fried onion (except for an extra handful of walnuts!). Pour some hot water over it, stir it & bring to a boil. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 13 – 15 minutes.

  5. Then, remove the pot from the heat and leave it covered for an additional 15 minutes so that the rice and lentils can fully absorb the liquid. Then, blend everything with a hand blender. Take a few minutes to do this, but you don’t have to achieve a perfectly velvety texture – small pieces of rice and lentils will taste great in a pate. Stir in the walnuts to the mix, blend it and taste it. If necessary, add a little salt.

  6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Transfer the pate to a baking tin lined with baking paper and bake for about 40 minutes. After baking, let it cool completely – it is best to prepare the pate in the evening so it is ready to be cut and eaten on the following day.