When I cook, I’m constantly grazing on whatever I’m making, and that’s how I discovered this raw walnut onion pate.
Hang on. Paté? What the heck is paté? (It’s said pat-ay, in case you were wondering.)
I know I sure asked that question when I first came across recipes for raw nut patés.
I always think of duck livers and tripe whenever I heard the word “paté”.
Not exactly the most appealing of mental images, especially for someone who’s mostly vegan. Eeeeew.
So, let me clear this one up for you.
A paté is basically a smooshy paste. Normally it’s made with ground meat and fat, mixed with herbs, spices and even veggies to make a tasty spreadable paste, sometimes cooked, sometimes chilled.
In the case of a raw vegan paté, it uses nuts and vegetables as the “meaty” base, along with herbs and spices for extra flavour.
Paté is normally used in sandwiches, on crackers or served on bread.
So, back to how I discovered this recipe.
So I was making the filling mixture for my amazingly delicious vegan sausage rolls, and as is my way, I licked the spoon.
And it kind of tasted nice. So nice in fact that I had to make the spoon dirty again so I could lick it again.
And then I realised that everything in the mix was perfectly safe to eat raw, it had just never occurred to me before to try it.
I think I’d always saved every last precious drop of mix for making the sausage rolls that the kids love so much.
But now they have competition.
I now make sure there’s always “accidentally” a bit leftover so I can claim it for myself.
That, or I just eat it as I go. Cooks prerogative.
It’s delicious on raw flax crackers, delightful on carrot sticks and utterly decadent straight off the spoon.
I should warn you, it does have a reasonable tang from the raw onion. So if you’re not a big fan of the taste of raw onion, take it slowly. Or put less onion in.
And I’m not normally big on raw onion or raw garlic, but there’s something about the bold combination of flavours in this raw walnut onion pate that really does it for me.
(At least there’s lots of parsley in it help with the after-breath.)
If you’re looking for other ways to use it up (because the recipe does make quite a bit), you can chuck it in a wrap with your favourite salad greens and fresh veggies for a quick and tasty snack.
Or use it to make vegan dim-sims.
If you’ve never lived in Australia, you’ve probably missed out on the pleasure of a greasy dim-sim.
Dim-sims are a Chinese-inspired snack that was invented in Melbourne in the 1940s, and consist of meat and veggies wrapped in a dumpling-style pastry and either steamed or deep-fried.
Mmmmm, greasy fast-food. Meh, not so much.
But if you’re hankering after a dim-sim hit, this raw walnut onion pate is a great way to create a healthier, vegan version.
Just wrap some in a rice-paper wrap, or even get yourself some authentic dim-sim wrappers, and steam them up. My kids love them.
Or, you can just use my time-honoured approach and eat the mix straight off a spoon.
Here’s all the stuff you need to know to make some of this awesome paté for yourself.
- ⅔ cup (100g) almonds, whole
- 2 tbsp (40g) lemon juice
- 5 tsp (25ml) olive oil
- 1 med (6g) garlic clove
- ½+1/8 tsp salt
- 5 tsp (25ml) water (use ¼ cup if almonds are unsoaked)
- ⅛ cup (12g) flax meal
- ¼ cup (65g) water
- 1 large (200g) brown onion
- 2 tbsp (20g) parsley
- 1 cup (140g) walnuts
- 200g almond feta cheese (from above)
- 1 tbsp (20ml) braggs (or tamari or soy sauce)
- ½ cup (60g) breadcrumbs
- 1½ cups (140g) rolled oats
- 1 tsp savoury yeast flakes
- Soak almonds overnight. If using unsoaked almonds, increase the water to ¼ cup.
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Mix flax and water in a small bowl and allow to thicken.
- Process onion, parsley and walnuts until chunky.
- Add feta, braggs, breadcrumbs, oats and yeast and process until smooth.
- Put mix in the fridge for an hour or two to thicken up.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for 3-6 months.
During: 30 mins
Need: Blender (optional), food processor
Serving size: 60g (4 tbsp) Calories: 60
- If you need to make your own breadcrumbs, do this in your food processor first, while it’s clean and dry.
- If you can’t be bothered soaking the almonds (or you forget, like I often do), just add extra water to the almond feta to make sure it blends properly.
- Make sure to use a good-quality, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil. If you’re trying to minimise your use of refined oils, you could probably leave the oil out entirely and it would still be fine.
- I use pink Himalayan crystal salt in my dishes because it contains lots of trace minerals that are good for you, and apparently it tastes better too. So if you’re going to use salt at all, the pink stuff is the best.
- You will need the tamper for your high-speed blender for this recipe, just to make sure that everything gets well mixed.
- If you can’t be bothered washing up your blender as well your food processor, just make the almond feta in the food processor first, and then take it out while you make the rest of the mix.
- Flax meal is made by grinding up whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder or in the dry jug of your high-speed blender. Make sure to store any leftover meal in the freezer to stop the oils going rancid. You can also buy pre-made flax meal from your local health food store.
- You need to mix the flax meal with the water before you start making the final paté mix, because it needs around 15 minutes to thicken up. Just mix it around now and then, and by the time you’re ready to use it, it should be gloopy, a bit like egg-whites in consistency. It helps to bind the paté together.
- I use crusts from a good-quality wholemeal, organic, sourdough bread to make my breadcrumbs. I just throw them into my food processor (when it’s clean and dry), grind them into crumbs and then store them in the freezer, ready to use. Technically they’re not raw, but they also make up a very small part of this recipe.
- If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, swap the breadcrumbs for some extra oats or even some psyllium husks. Also make sure your rolled oats are gluten-free.
- This paté will firm up in the refrigerator after a couple of hours, so you could probably put it into moulds to make a raw terrine if you wanted to.
- The paté will keep for at least 4 days in the refrigerator, and you can always freeze any excess for later. Just make sure to thaw it gently in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to use it again.
I think in this case I’d have to attribute my inspiration to my stomach.
Ok, this recipe was adapted originally from a vegetarian sausage roll recipe in a Thermomix cookbook, but it’s come a long way since then.
I’m not sure whether I was being brave or silly (or maybe just absent-minded) that fateful day when I decided to stick the grubby vegan sausage roll spoon into my mouth.
But I’m sure glad I did, because this raw walnut onion pate is super tasty.
And it’s a wonderful addition to my kitchen.
Have an awesome day!