But… what can I put in my sandwich? This seems to be one of the questions people who are considering veganism ask most often. The idea of two slices of bread with no meat, cheese or egg between them may seem revolutionary at first, but once you get used to it, you find there are so many options that you don’t even miss the animal products. Mashed avocado is one of my favorites, and here in Israel we eat a lot of hummus (I mean, A LOT) and tahini (sesame paste, usually mixed with water, lemon juice and fresh herbs).
This homemade pâté is just another tasty idea you might like to try.
Whenever I cook a pot of beans or other legumes, I like to use them in different dishes. Some might become part of a stew or a chili. Some might get thrown in a salad. Some might go for a ride in my food processor to become an interesting sandwich spread, along with whatever vegetables, herbs and nuts I happen to have in my kitchen that week. Most combinations turn out well, or at least edible… but once in a while, a spread comes out particularly delicious and then I write the recipe down to make it again someday. This is one of those.
I used sprouted lentils this time. Sprouting is not a must here, but it does have health benefits. If you’ve never tried sprouting anything, you might find that it’s much easier than you think; and also that there’s something quite satisfying about watching it happen.
To sprout lentils, choose brown, green or black ones (not a split variety such as yellow or orange, because those won’t sprout). Soak them in a bowl of water overnight, then transfer to a strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl in a cool place and rinse the lentils every few hours. You should see them beginning to sprout within a day.
1 cup lentils (sprouted if you like)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 frozen artichoke bottoms
1 cup walnuts
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 tbps olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp tahini/sesame butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Garnishes: chopped scallions, walnut halves
Cook the lentils with the whole garlic cloves in simmering water till soft, about 30min. Drain (keep the garlic).
Cook the artichoke bottoms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil till slightly golden.
Place all ingredients besides the parsley in a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes to make a paste. Taste and add more salt, pepper or cumin if necessary.
Add the parsley and pulse a few times, leaving little flecks of green.
Transfer the spread to a container and refrigerate overnight. You can also skip this and eat it immediately, but it tastes even better the next day.
Serve with fresh bread, raw veggies, chopped scallions and/or nuts.