Nettle and Sorrel Pâté
Wild greens and lentils combine to make a versatile vegan pâté that is easily customised to suit your taste and the availabilty of seasonal ingredients. Swap the nettles for other wild greens, add any herbs that take your fancy, and use any kind of beans you have instead of the lentils. Serve the pâté warm or cold, or add a vegan cream cheese to make a smoother, creamier mixture (non-vegans can add crème fraîche when blending, or butter when serving the pâté warm).
- Good double handful (or a pint jug full) of fresh nettle tops, rinsed
- Handful of sorrel leaves, rinsed
- 150g cooked green lentils (about half a can, rinsed, or 75g dried lentils, simmered in water until tender, and
- 2 tablespoons of chopped wild garlic, three cornered leek, few flowered garlic or chives
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if required
- 1 generous tablespoon vegan cream cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put the nettle tops in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Let them sit for about 2 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Put the blanched nettles, sorrel, lentils, wild garlic, lemon juice and 2 tablespooons of the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to create a coarse pâté.
- If you want a smoother, creamier pâté, add the vegan cream cheese and purée the mixture until smooth and evenly combined.
- Taste the mixture and add seasoning to taste. To serve the pâté warm, set a small pan over a low heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pâté and gently warm through, and spoon into a serving bowl. If serving cold, spoon the purée into a serving bowl and drizzle over the last tablespoon of oil. Serve with flatbreads, toasted pitta, crackers or part of a mezze-type array of dishes.