This versatile spread is a nutritious and delicious dip for vegetables and whole grain crackers, or it can be spread on toasted whole wheat baguettes as a lovely appetizer!

Red Lentil Pâté

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup dried red lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cremini mushrooms* (about 5 medium *mushrooms)
Kosher salt
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Preparation

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and mushrooms, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and start to brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the paprika, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaf and stir to coat the onion mixture. Add the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the pan. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Discard the bay leaf and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Add the cooked lentils and vinegar, season generously with salt, and process until mostly smooth, with some small pieces remaining, about 1 minute. Taste, season with additional salt and pepper as needed, and pulse to combine. Spoon into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to cool. Serve over toast points or in their Red Lentil Pâté Bruschetta with Poached Eggs recipe.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*