For the perfect late-summer dish, try this Lentil Pate recipe from Mindi K. Counts’ Everyday Chinese Medicine.
Sweet in taste and neutral in temperature, lentils are a perfect late-summer food.
When cooked properly, they are easy on the digestive system and full of nutrients (folate, manganese, iron, and many other minerals). You can choose to go brown, red, or green (or even black), or use a nice mixture of them all. Green lentils tend to take longer to cook by about 10 to 15 minutes.
Typically, lentils do not need to be soaked, as they break down much more easily than a traditional legume with regular cooking times. However, if you would like to reduce the time while simultaneously supporting your digestion even more, you can soak them for six to eight hours before cooking.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
2 cups lentils
5 cups water or homemade broth/stock
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I prefer cremini and/or shiitake)
2 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary, minced
2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme, minced
1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Tip: For added richness and nutrients, consider adding 1/2 cup soaked walnuts to the mixture.
Add the lentils and water to a 3- to 4-quart pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat up a skillet on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onions and garlic. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and herbs, and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor, and add the lentils, rice vinegar, tamari, and lemon juice. Process to a soft paste, then season with salt and pepper. (The pate may need to be refrigerated for 30 to 60 minutes to firm up.)
Serve with flatbread or vegetable slices for a delicious snack or appetizer. Leftover pate can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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From Everyday Chinese Medicine: Healing Remedies for Immunity, Vitality, and Optimal Health by © 2020 by Mindi K. Counts. Photographs ©2020 by Kristen Hatgi Sink. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications Inc. Boulder, Colorado. www.shambhala.com