Monday, July 23, 2012

cashew and almond pâté

I usually make a lot of hummus and bean-based dips, like here and here. It's a quick and easy source of nutrition for snacking, workday lunches, picnics, or a crowd-pleasing appetizer for a party. Every now and then, I like to mix it up with a nut-based pâté.

Just a quick note, this is not meant to mimic liver pâté; it has distinct flavors in its own right. It's also quite filling due to the protein content of the nuts.

This recipe does require some advanced planning, as the nuts need to be soaked for a few hours or overnight. Soaking raw nuts makes the enzymes in them more active, thus making them more digestible.

Other than that, there's not much else to it - everything goes in a food processor or blender. What's not to love?

Cashew and Almond Pâté

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed (you could also use just cashews, but almonds add a nice flavor)
1/3 cup chopped scallions/green onion, or 1/4 cup chopped yellow or sweet onions
1 clove of garlic, chopped with a little salt
2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos (here is some good information on this product) 
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1/4 cup very hot water
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon (more or less)
a generous handful of fresh basil leaves, or other fresh herbs of your choice
sea salt and pepper

Place the onions in a small bowl. I usually prefer green onions for an uncooked dish, but last weekend I didn't have any so I just used a small amount of regular yellow onion. If using regular onions, add the Bragg's liquid aminos to it to let it marinate for about 10 minutes. If you don't have Bragg's liquid aminos, just use regular sea salt and lemon juice. Marinating in salt and lemon juice will help make the onions less pungent. Add the chopped garlic to this as well.

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in the hot water as well, until rehydrated and plump. Be sure to save the soaking water!

Add everything - including the soaking water of the sun-dried tomatoes, but excluding salt and pepper to the food processor or blender. Let it run until you have a creamy consistency, scraping down the sides with a spatula to make sure everything gets incorporated. You'll probably end up with some pieces of sun-dried tomato here and there, but I also like having a little texture. If you want it creamier, just let the processor run a bit longer.

Check for seasoning at the end and add salt and pepper to taste - note that Bragg's liquid aminos are a little salty so be sure to taste first before adding more salt.

This gets better after sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors marry.

You could also experiment and mix other flavors into this pate; I would imagine black olives would be good in here as well. Or you could sub some roasted red pepper instead of sun-dried tomatoes. Add some red pepper flakes if you like some heat. It's a versatile recipe! 

Serve with crudités, crostini, or pita chips.

(Personally, my favorite part is the remaining bits stuck to the food processor, which I scrape with a spatula. Yum. Just helping the dishwasher out. :))

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Ariel Tyler said...

This sounds so good!

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Hi Ariel, thanks for reading! Yes I have to say it really was good! I hope you try it. Let me know if you come up with some different flavors!

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Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Anonymous: Thank you! I appreciate your positive feedback. Thanks for reading!

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