Lentil Pâté for V‑Day and T‑Gives

Lentil Pâté

This is my first ever entry to the widespread, well-loved internet phenomenon known as Meatless Monday. To get me acclimated I made a lentil loaf – but I called it a Lentil Pâté. For obvious reasons, right? Lentil loaf is gray and lifeless. It’s hard to make a glamorous lentil loaf. But pâté, well that’s seductive, huh? After all, why can’t Meatless Monday be enthralling? Burdensome name aside, Meatless Monday has the potential to be magnetic. I’ve often thought that vegetarianism too often focuses on the absence of the meat rather than the presence of vegetables.

I’m sure a lot of vegetarians would disagree with that statement, but from a non-vegetarian point-of-view it seems to me that the produce itself gets short shrift when the dishes are defined that way. I mean come on “meatless” is so negative. Why concentrate on what it’s “not” when vegetables have so much that “is”. Why not call it V‑Day? I know there’s no day of the week that starts with “V” but can’t we all be just a little more imaginative? I mean V‑day – it’s much more celebratory than sad, drab Meatless Monday.

Lentil Pâté

Nonetheless, I have a reason for participating and bringing you this Lentil Pâté on V‑Day (forever formerly known on this blog as Meatless Monday). That’s because I’m trying to do as many meatless Thanksgiving dishes as I can this year. I’m having an unprecedented number of vegetarians at my T‑Gives table and I want them to feel welcome. It’s a thankless job, but in my opinion pâté makes people feel wooed! 

Who doesn’t want to be wooed? To me (and I hope to vegetarians everywhere) Lentil Pâté sounds like an exceptional, celebratory way to get a special meal rolling. Sure, my Lentil Pâté is a meatless pâté, but I’m no more likely to emphasis that than I am to continue calling the first day of the workweek Meatless Monday. We all know “less” is more… so I prefer the terms V‑Day and T‑Gives. After all it’s all in the name. GREG

Lentil Pâté

Lentil Pâté

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Lentil Pâté


  • 1 cup dried French green lentils
  • 2 cup vegetable stock
  • ½ onion (cut into 3 wedges)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounce thinly sliced shallots
  • 8 ounce thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (whites finely chopped, yolks reserved for another use)
  • crackers (for serving)


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 ½ 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.

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.

Reserve ¼ cup 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.

Line a 2 ½‑by 12-inch terrine pan or 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, pressing down until well-compacted. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours (or overnight).

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