For a pretty presentation, this recipe is studded with green pistachios and chunky peppercorns, just like a classic French pâté. The secret ingredient is parsnip, which purees to a silky smoothness and sweetly balances with rich walnuts. You don’t have to wrap it in puff pastry (you can unmold and serve it before the baking instructions below), but it makes for a real showstopper at parties. Without the pastry, it is gluten free.
French Pâté with Pistachios and Peppercorns en Croute [Vegan]
- Canola oil for greasing
- 2 cups peeled and sliced parsnip (about 1 large)
- 1/2pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup prepared vegan chicken-or beef-flavored broth
- 1 teaspoon agar powder
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- 2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- 1 pre-made vegan puff pastry sheet
- 2 tablespoons soy milk for brushing
- 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Ready a 1- to 2-cup rectangular glass storage container or small loaf pan by lightly greasing it with the canola oil. Set aside. Combine the parsnip and mushrooms in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Add the garlic and drizzle the coconut oil over all. Cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Uncover and roast for 20 minutes, or until very tender and browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- In a small pot over medium heat, place the prepared broth. Sprinkle the agar powder over it and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, still whisking constantly, until the agar is dissolved and the liquid is very thick.
- Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and grind them to a smooth paste. Add the roasted parsnip mixture, miso, and smoked salt to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the agar mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the pistachios and peppercorns and pulse until just combined.
- Scrape the contents of the food processor into the prepared storage container. Smooth the top and chill, covered, for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days, or until completely chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lightly greasing it with the canola oil.
- Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to even out the seams and make it 1 inch wider in each direction.
- Run a knife around the pâté in the storage container and place a plate over it. Flip the container to drop the pâté onto the plate. Turn the pâté over onto the center of the pastry and wrap the dough around the pâté. Trim off any excess, and, if desired, roll it out and cut into decorative shapes.
- Place the wrapped pâté, seam side down, in the baking pan. If using the decorative puff shapes, brush the back of them with water and stick to them to the wrapped pâté as desired.
- In a cup, whisk together the soy milk and agave nectar. Using a pastry brush, paint the finished puff pastry with the mixture. If the dough has gotten soft, chill the wrapped pâté in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack for 20 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.
- Slice and serve warm.
Photo Credit: David Paul Shmit