Almond Pâté

I cobbled this recipe together a few years ago after eating something similar at a little Ital restaurant that has since closed. It has a nice savory flavor, and is pretty rich, but the fat is almost all from almonds so I think it’s pretty healthy. I usually eat it with vegetable nori rolls (details below), though it’s also good on crackers. It’s a flexible recipe, but here’s a starting point.

1 Tbsp olive oil (or cooking fat of your choice)
1 medium-small onion (~0.4lb)
¾ lb brown mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
1 cup roasted almonds
pinch of salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)

balsamic vinegar
herbs (thyme is particularly good)

Saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms in the oil until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft and have given off some water (medium high, ~5-10 min; start with the onions, then add garlic, then mushrooms ). Pour sauteed mix into blender along with the rest of the ingredients and start low then blend on high until it’s smooth. It keeps for about a week in the fridge.

Nori rolls
These are also very flexible and simple. I put in whatever raw vegetables I fancy.
1 package Nori sheets (flat dried seaweed)
almond pate
⅓ lb thin rice noodles (“rice sticks”)
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 oz baby spinach
4 sprigs mint

Prepare rice noodles as directed on the package (typically boil 3 min, then drain). While water is coming to a boil, julienne vegetables. Assemble wraps by putting ingredients onto a piece of nori and rolling it up like a small burrito. The nori can get a little soggy/chewy if it sits with the ingredients for too long, so I like to put all of the chopped vegetables into bowls and let everyone make their own wraps one at a time.

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