A bowl of pate made from mushrooms, lentils and tofu

It’s very hard to make brown sludge look appealing but this pâté is delicious and not just for vegans. It’s great as a vegetarian starter course for dinner, in a  lunchbox with crackers or as part of a buffet. The lentils add great protein and flavour to the pâté while the soft, silken tofu as it is a substitute for dairy and helps to bind all the ingredients together without adding texture or flavour (a neat trick!). These days tofu is easy to find in most supermarkets, on their World Food shelf along with soy sauce, miso paste etc.

This recipe serves 6 as a starter but can be halved or doubled as required.


45g mixed dried mushrooms, covered and soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes

1/2 cup green beluga lentils, simmered in water for 15-20 minutes until al dente, then drained

3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil (eg Orodeal from Great Oil)

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

300g punnet of closed cup white mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

300g Clearspring silken tofu in brine, drained

1 cup finely chopped parsley (be generous)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of half a lemon


Once you’ve soaked the dried mushrooms and put the lentils on to simmer, sauté the chopped onion and the mushrooms in the olive oil until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions and mushrooms are starting to brown. Reserving the soaking liquid, carefully drain the soaked mushrooms (there may be sand and grit at the bottom of the bowl), roughly chop them and add to the pan with a tablespoon of the mushroom stock. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, them add the lentils, parsley and seasoning.

Tip into a food processor or use a stick blender to blitz up the mixture, then add the tofu and blend again. You can make it as fine or coarse as you like.

Check the seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Drizzle with olive oil before serving alongside crackers or flatbreads.

© Linda Galloway 2021