Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Am I . . . Vegan Chopped Liver?

Does the idea of eating chopped chicken livers seem really strange to you? Well, if you grew up in a house like mine (Eastern European and Jewish), it would seem really run-of-the-mill. But delicious run-of-the-mill, if you know what I mean.

Chopped liver was something my grandmother made, and also my mother, to this day. It was served at every single family and friend gathering that I can recall from my childhood. Everyone loved it. Even if you loathed liver in any other form, there was something so amazing about Chopped Liver that would make you forget all about exactly what you were eating.

You can probably imagine, it's been a long time since I've eaten Chopped Liver.

So when we were served "Mock Chopped Liver" at dinner at a friend's this past Friday night, I was excited to take a walk down memory lane. It was delicious and I made a pact with myself that I would find out exactly how I could make it so I could share it with you.

Many Mock Chopped Liver recipes include hard boiled eggs and of course, oil to saute the onion in. Mine however is 100% no-oil vegan. It's so simple, I can't believe it's taken me this long to make it.

If the idea of Chopped Liver totally freaks you out, just think of this as a completely amazing Lentil Walnut Pate and proudly serve it to rave reviews at all of your social gatherings.

Everyone will be glad you did.

Vegan Mock Chopped Liver (aka Lentil Walnut Pate)
makes 4 cups, serves a crowd

Print me!

1 17.6 oz. package steamed lentils from Trader Joe's, OR 3 cups of water plus 1 1/2 cup of dry lentils (should yield 3 cups cooked lentils)
1 large onion, diced
vegetable broth for sauteing
1 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp red miso paste
1 1/2 tsp low sodium Tamari or low sodium soy sauce

If you don't have access to Trader Joe's precooked lentils, the first thing that you will need to do is cook your lentils. Place lentils and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer lentils for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain lentils.

Place a saute pan (nonstick is best) over medium-high heat and cover the bottom of the pan with vegetable broth. When broth is bubbling, add onion. Cook onion, stirring often, adding a bit more broth and lowering the heat as you go, until onion is translucent and very soft, about 20-30 minutes. By the end of the process, your heat should be on low and the onions will be soft and no liquid will be left.

Place walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Pulse walnuts a few times until the are  chopped. Add lentils, onions, red miso paste and Tamari or soy sauce and puree until smooth.

Refrigerate for a few hours and serve.

Did your family eat Chopped Liver growing up? Did you love it or loathe it? Do you make a mock version now?

Was the expression "What am I, Chopped Liver?" used in your home growing up?

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