East African Spiced Lentil Paté

East African Spiced Lentil Paté
Created By: Chef Robin Leventhal, Crave Food
Yields: 2 cups
Kid-approved, Vegan

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Robin Leventhal, Wine Country Culinary Institute, Crave Food & Crave Clay

1 cup dried Sunrise red lentils, rinsed & sorted
2 cups Water
½  cup Shallots, minced
½ cup  Onion, small dice
1 tsp    Thyme (fresh, picked off stem)
1 Garlic clove, smashed
2 tsp   Garlic, minced
1 tsp    Cumin, ground
2 tsp    Coriander, ground
1 Tbs  Berbere Spice Blend (See recipe below)
1 tsp    Lemon zest
2 tsp    Lemon juice
2 Tbs  Extra Virgin Olive oil or flavored oil like garlic or lemon
2 tsp    Vegetable oil
2 tsp    Kosher or sea salt
2 Tbs   Dukkah garnish (See recipe below)

Instructions for paté:
Add lentils, water and smashed garlic clove to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender and water is fully absorbed and evaporated. Stir occasionally, especially at the end when little water remains.

While the lentils are cooking, sauté onions and shallots on medium high in vegetable oil until lightly caramelized, 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, fresh thyme, cumin, coriander and sauté 2 minutes more until fragrant.

Add shallots, onion, garlic, thyme mixture to the simmering lentils with the salt.

Once lentils are fully tender, transfer to a food processor.  Add lemon juice, zest, olive oil, and Berbere spice; puree until silky smooth. You might need to add a bit more water or oil to get the ideal texture. Just add a bit at a time, tasting for aromatics and salt.

Cool and adjust seasoning before serving.

Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Dukkah.

Serving suggestions:
・Serve as a dip on a fresh vegetable crudité platter, with toasted pita or tortilla chips.
・Spread in a wrap or sandwich.
・Serve room temp with grilled pita and roasted vegetables on a mezze platter.
・Loosen with a bit more liquid and serve as a sauce with grilled fish, meats & vegetables.

Berbere (Ethiopian Spice Blend) ingredients:
1/2 tsp Fenugreek
1/2 cup ground Chile powder
1/4 cup Paprika
1 Tbls Salt
1 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
1/8 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground Allspice

Dukkah (Egyptian condiment) ingredients:
1/4 cup Hazelnuts, toasted & crushed
1/4 cup Pistachios, toasted & crushed
1/4 cup Almonds, toasted & crushed
1/4 cup Peanuts, toasted & crushed
1 Tbs toasted Sesame seeds
5 tsp Coriander seeds, ground
1 Tbs Cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
2 tsp Nigella seeds
1 tsp Black peppercorns, ground
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1 Tbs Paprika (hot or sweet)
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

Instructions for Berbere and Dukkah:
Mix ingredients for each recipe until blended. Store in glass or tin container. Spices will be most aromatic within 2 months of preparation. Best if used within 1 year. Note: Dukkah has a shorter shelf life because of the nuts, which can turn rancid. Always store in a cool, dry place.

Serving suggestions:
・Serve with East African Spiced Lentil Paté
・Add one Tablespoon of Berbere per 1 cup of cooked lentils or chickpeas.
・Use Dukkah as a garnish on top of hummus, cooked lentils or chickpeas. Also good sprinkled on fried eggs and roasted vegetables, or stirred into pasta.

Click here for more recipes featured on PNW Co-op's Cooking Demo Stage at the National Lentil Festival.