This is another installment in my mini-series on portable picnic essentials. Last week there was hummus. This week I’m bringing a French classic inspired pâté, but with a plant-based twist. What’s amazing about this recipe is that it has the same richness and deeply flavorful and nuanced essence of a liver-based pâté. You really only need a few spreads over bread before feeling that rich, decadent instinct that tells you not to go too far. Yet you can feel free to eat as much as you want as long as nuts and olives are in your game plan. This is a three-ingredient classic, but I imagine if you add other vegetables, herbs and spices it could take on the broad range of flavors that a meat-based pate offers. This walnut pâté lasts in case you don’t eat it in one sitting and I’ll say it got better each day. Although quick in prep time, this is a dish that matures beautifully with age.
There is something special about eating a meal outdoors. It’s even more special when it’s a hard-earned meal. This time of year after a long day on the lake, stolen moments in a swimming hole or a steady hike up a mountain, outdoor meals make me feel connected to the outdoors. This Labor Day we went back to my favorite part of upstate New York and Vermont, the Adirondacks. I partly wanted to survey the scene of this insane race I signed up for less than three weeks away. With my mind full of a million things I was slowly transformed in the subtle way only nature can do. And then I heard the magical, haunting, mournful call of the loon. They live side by side with the ducks on the lakes, but are slightly more elusive. The sound of their call reduces me to reverence. It’s such a treat to witness. Being with your loved one in a land carved out by glaciers, where the landscape shapes its people, the ostentation of the mountains and tranquility of the lakes expecting nothing of you save for respect. Therein lies the draw. And what better way to enhance the experience than carrying with you some homemade goodies to be enjoyed in the wild?
Just a little note, if you’re interested in more of the landscape, both city and country, and not just the food, check out my husband’s Instagram. I’ve got some good stuff on mine, but I don’t want to overwhelm the feed. I hope you all had a good week!
Adapted from the Plant Power Way by Rich Roll & Julie Piatt. These guys are game-changers. They inspired my running, my smoothie obsession and so much more.
- 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
- about 6 oz pitted Kalamata olives, drained
- filtered water
Add the ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor, making sure all of the ingredients are distributed evenly. It may take some rearranging for the cilantro to be completely broken down. Add water a tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm with toast, pita bread, flax crackers, or collard greens.