With a touch of playful sculpture, two tasty appetizer pâtés become one very striking yin-yang presentation with an underlying philosophical Taoist message: a balanced approach to the opposites that occur in everyday life.
Both patés are easy recipes because the food processor does all the work! Accompany the paté with whole-grain crackers or toasted pita wedges, or spoon it into leaves of Belgian endive and have fun with it.
If the sculpting approach sounds a bit daunting, just plunk each paté into a separate bowl, sprinkle each with some finely ground nuts, sesame seeds, chopped chives, or minced parsley, and serve with crackers on the side.
Makes 3 cups; 10 to 12 servings
- 1 1/4 cups chopped carrots
- 1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper, about 1 large pepper
- 1 cup raw or roasted cashews or macadamias
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Pinch cayenne
1. TO MAKE THE CARROT PATÉ, put the carrots, bell pepper, cashews, lemon juice, ginger, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a food processor and process for 1 minute, or until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl.
2. Transfer to a small bowl and wash and dry the processor work bowl. The Carrot Pâté makes about 1 1/2 cups,
Mushroom Walnut Pâté
- 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. TO MAKE THE MUSHROOM PÂTÉ, cook and stir the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and water in a large skillet over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is transparent and the mushrooms are softened. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to prevent burning. There should be at least 1 tablespoon of liquid remaining in the pan.
2. Transfer the mushroom mixture and the remaining liquid to a food processor and add the walnuts, yeast flakes, lemon juice, and salt. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl. The Mushroom Walnut Pâté makes about 1 1/2 cups.
3. TO ASSEMBLE THE APPETIZER, remove 1 tablespoon of each pâté and set aside. Spoon the remaining mushroom pâté onto one half of a dinner plate. Using the back of a spoon, form one half of the yin-yang symbol.
4. Spoon the remaining carrot pâté onto the plate, next to the mushroom paté, and form the other half of the symbol. Complete the presentation by placing the reserved tablespoon of each pâté into the widest portion of the opposite color. Smooth the edges to form a complete circle.
From Vegan for The Holidays by Zel Allen