Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Lentil Pâté

From the book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations by
Yield 2 cups dressing


This little number is inspired by chicken-liver terrine, a French brasserie and Jewish delicatessen classic. Replicating the same technique and flavor notes from a passed-down recipe, I swap out the livers for legumes. I won’t say you can trick your chicken liver-loving pals, but you will astonish them.


1 cup dried brown or green lentils
3 cups water
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
½ to ¾ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup peeled and thinly sliced shallots (about 4 bulbs)
¼ cup bourbon or cognac (booze-free option: apple cider)
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (from at least 2 sprigs)
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
~ Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the lentils, water, and garlic in a medium saucepan. (The water should be about 2 inches above the lentils; add more as needed.) Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer until tender to the bite, 30 to 35 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon of the salt.
  2. While the lentils cook, melt the butter in a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, stir to coat with the butter, and cook until thick, jam-like, and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the heat if the shallots begin to char. Increase the heat and add the booze (or apple cider), allowing it to evaporate, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, nutmeg, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of the salt, then turn off the heat.
  3. Drain the lentils and transfer to a baking sheet to cool in a single layer for 10 minutes. Make sure you bring along the cooked garlic.
  4. Transfer the shallot mixture to the bowl of a food processor or stand blender and blend, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the lentils and garlic, and blend until you have a creamy mixture with as few lumps as possible.
  5. Season with the black pepper to taste (and add more salt if needed) and scoop into a 4-inch ramekin or four-edged dish. (The spread looks more pâtélike in a shaped dish than freestyle in a cereal bowl.)
  6. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes; the pâté deepens in flavor when slightly chilled.
  7. Serve with toast points or baguette slices, or with carrot, celery, or jicama sticks, or endive leaves.

This content is from the book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations by Kim O’Donnel.

There are no comments on this item
Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Our Table

Joy of Cooking app

A new tool for the kitchen

The latest in our collection of cooking apps.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice