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Lentil Pate


This hors d'oeuvre was inspired by traditional pate, but gets its richness from French lentils, cremini mushrooms, and hazelnuts. The legumes and nuts are sources of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

  • Servings: 10

Photography: Kalyn Sims

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2006


  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought vegetable stock
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 3 wedges
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces shallots (about 1 1/2 cups), thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, whites finely chopped, yolks reserved for another use
  • 50 low-fat whole-wheat crackers


  1. Bring lentils, stock, 1 3/4 cups water, onion, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, adding water as needed (about 1/2 cup at a time) to prevent lentils from drying out, until they are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard onion, thyme, and bay leaf; set lentils aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until mushrooms have softened completely and shallots are deep-golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sherry, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Remove from heat.

  3. Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of shallot mixture for garnish; refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Process remaining shallot mixture, the lentils, and nuts in a food processor until coarsely combined. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the egg whites.

  4. Line a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 3 inches to hang over each long side. Spoon lentil mixture into pan, and fold plastic over top. Top with another loaf pan filled with heavy cans. Refrigerate 4 hours (or overnight).

  5. To serve, unwrap top, and invert onto a platter. Bring to room temperature. Garnish with reserved shallot mixture and thyme sprigs. Serve with crackers.

Cook's Notes

Toast the hazelnuts in a 250-degree oven until fragrant, about 20 minutes. Place them in a clean kitchen towel, and rub to remove the skins.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Sqwirle
    30 OCT, 2013
    Love this recipe have made it many times and was enjoyed by all. I too omit the egg because my vegan friends can enjoy it as well.
  • lisaarnoff
    22 JAN, 2012
    This was a "don't bother" for me. I've made several similar recipes and was looking forward to trying something made with lentils. I followed the directions exactly and while the pate turned out and held its shape i thought it soggy and didn't love the flavor. Not something I'd serve to guests or that I'd make again. There are better "mock" chopped liver or pate recipes out there.
  • billylug
    17 JUN, 2011
    This is a fantastic recipe. Have made it twice and it has been a complete hit. The flavor is amazing. Omitted egg.
  • paperpiper
    26 MAY, 2009
    Easier than I thought to put together! I only chilled for an hour (in the freezer, ha!) because I was short on time, and the pate came out fine.