Faux Gras: Vegetarian Foie Gras

Faux Gras Lentil Paté

People often think of Paris as a museum stuck in the past. Sure, one of the things we all love about Paris is the old charm that persists in the architecture, the culture, the cuisine, and in some cases, the way of thinking. (The recent taxi versus Uber battle irked a few French tech entrepreneurs as they felt it presented an image of France as a place unwelcome to new business ideas, or change.) But it’s hard to stop new ideas, especially when they become widely adopted, as the next generation comes along with different ideas and expectations. 

Like everywhere, and like it or not, France is being updated in several ways. One that surprises outsiders is that no longer are lunches a three-hour affair with multiple bottles of wine. (Unfortunately!) Instead, lunch might be a sandwich on the fly – perhaps a jambon-beurre (baguette sandwich), or a stop at a food truck for a Bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich), or even a burger and frites. Change doesn’t happen fast in France, or without controversy, but when a new food trend does catch on, it tends to get fiercely embraced – for better or worse. And végétarianism is becoming more popular, despite some opposition.

Faux Gras Lentil Paté

Dietary habits are evolving in France, as they are in the rest of the world. And a number of people, especially twenty and thirty-somethings, are experimenting with things like quinoa, raw foods, chia seeds, and kale.

True, the movement is not as widespread as it is elsewhere, and some of it is more for novelty sake rather than for health reasons. (There is a juice bar near me where young people routinely sip their healthy, cold-pressed juice and when done, go out and light up a cigarette.) But we all have to start somewhere, right? And a friend who works for a French government agricultural association insists that food (and smoking) habits will continue to evolve and change.

Faux Gras Lentil Pate

You’re no longer ostracized in Paris for being vegetarian or even vegan. And many of the hip cafes and sandwich/salad shops that have sprung up in the past few years – notably in the 10th, 11th and 12th – have vegetarian options presented daily on their menus. You won’t find meals like you would at, say, Greens in San Francisco, Dirt Candy in New York, or Ottolenghi, in London. But vegetarian options exist a lot more than they used to. (Although some friends from California went to a vegetarian restaurant in Paris and when asked, the next day told me it was okay, but it was odd that there were no vegetables on the menu.) So the field is wide-open for someone wanting to open a restaurant serving a plant-based menu – which, yes, offers vegetables, too.

Just like the way we eat in America has been influenced strongly by France, via Julia Child and Alice Waters, foreigners are influencing the food culture in France. Australians are opening coffee houses, British cooks are recasting farm-to-table fare with local French ingredients, and Parisians are lining up for Texas-style barbecue (with a French pit boss, who learned his craft in Texas) while the Parisian bistro is being reinvented at places like Frenchie, Le Bon Georges, and Chameleon where the owners have reinvigorated French cuisine, focusing on freshness and well-sourced ingredients, which were in danger of being lost.

Faux Gras Lentil Pate

Foie gras has been a part of the French culinary heritage for hundreds of years, a tradition started thousands of years ago in Egypt before being adapted by the French. But you don’t have to be vegetarian to know that it’s controversial; even in France there are people who are against eating it. If You are going to eat foie gras, it’s best to know the source. Much is from Eastern Europe, or from large factory-like facilities, and those are certainly best avoided. But some want to avoid it entirely and it’s nice to have an alternative, especially one that’s just as delicious.

Faux Gras Lentil Pate

This plant-based version is from Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic by Rebecca Leffler, a healthy lifestyle book that offers an array of salads, soups, smoothies, and other “green” treats inspired by France, with some wellness tips and even some yoga poses to do in between meals. One of my favorite foodstuffs in France are the French green lentils, and I always keep some on hand. These came from my local grocery store and they’re just everyday lentils, not the fancy lentilles de Puy, which are great for salads, but come at a premium price (even more so, outside of France), so are best reserved for lentil salads and more straightforward preparations.

Interestingly, regular button mushrooms are called champignons de Paris in France. Most are no longer grown in Paris, or under Paris, but they’re still called that today. And they provide an earthy note to this spreadable pâté, seasoned with fresh herbs and a splash of Cognac.

Faux Gras Lentil Pate

I brought this spread to a little apéro hour get-together at a neighbor’s place, a techie who is developing 3D technology for video. And after a few glasses of rosé, and some of this Faux gras, we tried on some special eyeglasses embedded in a box-like headset that he was working on, and went through a spin in outer space. It was pretty wild.

If you’re tasting faux gras for the first time, and are familiar with its non-vegetarian counterpart, you might think you’re having an other-worldly experience, too, and everyone that tasted it remarked on how good it was and how much it tasted like foie gras, in spite of the fact that there isn’t a whiff of meat in it.

Faux Gras Lentil Paté

So matter what planet you’re on, what country you’re in, or what your food proclivities are, I think you’ll like this spread. Although I didn’t serve it this time, a bit of sharp-sweet shallot marmalade would make an excellent accompaniment, as would some icy glasses of rosé or even some kale juice alongside, however you want to update it.

Faux Gras
Makes 6 to 8 appetizer-sized servings

Adapted from Très Green, Très Green, Très Chic by Rebecca Leffler

Lentils double in volume when cooked, so 1 cup (160g) of dried lentils will yield close to the correct amount. They usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook until soft, but check the directions on the package for specific guidelines. If avoiding gluten, use tamari instead of soy sauce. For a vegan version, replace the butter with the same quantity of olive oil, for a total of 1/4 cup (60ml) of olive oil. The cognac or brandy is optional, but it does give the faux gras a little je ne sais quoi.

  • 12 medium-sized button mushrooms (100g, about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups (400g) cooked green lentils
  • 1 cup (140g) toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage or flat leaf parsley
  • optional: 2 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Wipe the mushrooms clean. Slice off a bit of the stem end (the funky parts) and slice them. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet or wide saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, sage or parsley, Cognac (if using), brown sugar, and cayenne. Scrape in the cooked mushroom mixture and process until completely smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if it needs balancing.

3. Scrape the pâté into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

Serving: Serve the pâté with crackers, hearty bread, or small toasts. A nice accompaniment is shallot marmalade or just a few pickles alongside.

Storage: The spread will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator. It can frozen for up to two months, well-wrapped.




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  • July 6, 2015 3:13pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and for offering us a kinder alternative to foie gras! I never thought I’d see the day when my adopted country-folk would say “non” to this beloved culinary tradition, but it’s even possible now to buy “faux gras” in natural food stores and vegan shops throughout Paris. Fait maison will surely taste better, though, and it looks so much nicer served from a le Creuset casserole!

  • Kate
    July 6, 2015 3:50pm

    I love this! I am definitely going to whip this up this week! Such a great idea, and I am thinking it will be great with a glass of Rose!

  • July 6, 2015 4:40pm

    Paris is actually wonderful for vegans! Important progress is happening in so many places.

    Great recipe. Reminds me of a veg chopped liver I make for Yom Kippur but obviously better!

  • July 6, 2015 4:43pm

    My Viennese born grandmother would always make this as a “mock” chopped liver for the lean years post WWII in Israel, then in the states for me her vegetarian granddaughter. It’s also possible using eggplant…

  • July 6, 2015 4:54pm

    Great recipe! I’m currently writing a book of veganised French food, there are many ways that french cuisine celebrates vegetables and pulses :)

    • July 6, 2015 7:09pm

      Oh wow I need to look out for your book!

  • Aidan
    July 6, 2015 4:56pm

    I often make vegetarian pates, but not for any aversion to eating meat. (Indeed, I am an avowed carnivore — especially liver!). My family, however, is not fond of liver. They have taken to my vegetarian pates, though. One way I boost the umami a little more is to add four or so anchovy fillets near the end of the sauté, then stir them about until they dissolve. Magic.

    Thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    • Ben
      July 6, 2015 5:24pm

      If you are adding anchovy, then you are not making a vegetarian pâté.

      • George
        July 18, 2015 10:42pm

        Thanks for the tip, Ben!

  • July 6, 2015 5:11pm

    I like how veggie alternatives are becoming more accepted and available. This recipe sounds delicious!

  • Debra
    July 6, 2015 5:16pm

    As a meatatarian I’m skeptical, but I will surely try this. If it’s half as good as your chicken liver spread recipe I’ll be pleased.

  • July 6, 2015 5:29pm

    Here in the Touraine vegetarianism is not especially catching on. I have 2 French vegetarian friends, one of whom I approached for advice because I was about to get a family of 4 vegetarians as clients for 2 days. They told me they ate cheese but not eggs and only one of them ate fish. My friend grimaced and said it was pas evident. Vietnamese was my best bet he said. I thought it would be a shame for them not to have something typical or special for the region, so in the end I booked 2 typical French restaurants where I know the staff and told them what to cook for mains — warm goats cheese salad and a sort of vegetarian ‘risotto’ (made with locally grown spelt, not rice). So my clients avoided being offered omelettes and fish everywhere and had something that the locals would have happily eaten. They pronounced both dishes delicious and were very happy.When they fended for themselves in the evenings they ate Italian. Starters and desserts are not a problem for vegetarians as there is always something on the menu, but mains are definitely still problematic if you want to eat French.

  • Vicki
    July 6, 2015 5:36pm

    What lentils do you recommend if we can’t get the green ones here in the US. I’m in a small town with limited food options.

    • Sandy
      July 6, 2015 6:20pm

      Whole Lentils will work. We don’t get the Green ones in South Africa either.

  • V
    July 6, 2015 5:50pm

    Vegetarian is not too difficult in Paris, but sometimes the only vegan option at a cafe is a green salad (lettuce).

    I agree with you, things are changing. A few years ago Un Monde Vegan opened up a great shop in Paris. There are also many shops opening for people with food intolerances.

  • Judith
    July 6, 2015 5:50pm

    Looks like a wonderful recipe and I can’t wait to try it. But I do have to say it has a striking resemblance to the mock chopped liver my Aunt Helen used to bring to Passover seder! :)

  • Phyllis
    July 6, 2015 6:04pm

    Yes, agreed, it’s vegetarian chopped liver or pate. There’s one that uses green beans too. I wonder if there might be some way to make it really creamy in texture like foie gras and to shape it. Maybe a light amount of agar agar to create a creamy gel. Cream would work too. The picture of the lentils here do look like lentilles de puy rather than the brown kind used for making lentil soup. Also, it would be nice to have chai seeds but I think you mean chia seeds.

    • July 6, 2015 7:01pm

      If you use a Vita Mix or Blendec to blend it thoroughly instead of a food processor you’ll have a creamier less textured version (whether for good or bad I can’t say.) Using a Vita Mix I no longer strain soups as many recipes call for but just super blend them for a good minute and they are ultra smooth.

      • Sharon Feather
        August 3, 2015 12:53am

        I made this last night, and didn’t use my VitaMix, thinking the recipe didn’t have enough liquid to work in it. It was quite stiff in my food processor. I probably doubled all the liquids to add flavor. My garlic was a mild heirloom variety from the farmers market. So I cooked shards left of a more intense variety and added. I’m sure starting from a stronger garlic would help. Hoping the flavors have come together better after sitting overnight in the fridge.

  • July 6, 2015 6:04pm

    Wow, I’m finding it hard to believe that this really can taste like foie gras, but it sounds delicious and I’m willing to give it a try!

    Interestingly enough, regarding your comments about vegetarian menus in schools, a few municipalities are starting to offer a vegetarian option — partly to get around controversy over children who don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Catering to their needs is seen in some quarters as an attack on laicité — while vegetarian options can be offered to almost anyone with special dietary requirements or food intolerances.

  • Kathleen
    July 6, 2015 6:05pm

    I have never had the desire to try foie gras, and now you have provided the perfect way for me to approximate what I have been missing all these years. I even have the ingredients on hand (mostly), though I will be substituting tiny brown lentils for the green, and lime juice for lemon. Lemons are scarce here in Mexico, but we do have a prolific lime tree.
    Gracias, David! Buen provecho!

  • Kathleen
    July 6, 2015 6:09pm

    P.S. Nice to see your Le Creuset in the photos, now that you have given me a new appreciation for it.

  • July 6, 2015 6:23pm

    This sounds fabulous! I love a traditional pâté, but this sounds like a delicious, less gut-busting alternative.

  • Daniel
    July 6, 2015 6:26pm

    I love foie gras. This looks delicious too, and I’d love to make it and try it. But why call it foie gras (or even faux gras) if it’s not? Why do vegetarians insist on saying that vegetables are just as good as meat?

    • tunie
      July 6, 2015 7:28pm

      “But why call it foie gras (or even faux gras) if it’s not?”

      Because it’s fun and clever wordplay that gives everyone an immediate frame of reference for what they are about to eat. Also, vegetables are just as good as meat, silly goose! It’s about preference and diverse individuality. Allow people to love what they love!

      • Daniel
        July 6, 2015 7:49pm

        I certainly agree that vegetables are good, but they are good in their own right, without having to be compared with meat. I love eating meat and I love eating vegetables, and I don’t think it necessary to pretend that the vegetables I eat is meat or a meat substitute.

        • Sandi
          July 20, 2015 11:24am

          Then don’t, but allow others the same freedom to choose for themselves. Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

  • Rom
    July 6, 2015 6:32pm

    David I’m intrigued by this recipe and can’t wait to try it. One question I have a magimix so would normally use that but I also have a good blender (a Blendtec) and I wonder if that would achieve a lighter result? Or are you going for a more ‘rustic’ finish? I only ask as my experience of FG is that part of its charm is how smooth and creamy it is. Interested in your view on that. Thanks

  • July 6, 2015 6:38pm

    Between your gorgeous photos (of lentils of all things) and your obvious enthusiasm, you’ve inspired me to make faux gras. Though, I believe with shiitakes or criminis instead, as our button mushrooms tend to be rather flavorless.

  • Sandra Z
    July 6, 2015 6:46pm

    Thank you so much for this! When someone as influential as you touts something vegetarian and how the trend is growing, it’s critically important. I became vegetarian 30 years ago simply because I loved my cat so much, and realized that if it’s ok for people to eat her in other countries, but not in ours, it shouldn’t be ok to eat her animal brothers and sisters. Nothing to do with health, but now that I am in my mid-50s and routinely get mistaken for 30something, I have yet more to be grateful to my cat for. It’s a great feeling to know that what you eat caused the death of no animal, in particular when you know what the factory “farming” system is from all the undercover videos taken at those horrific institutions. And nowadays, especially in LA where I live, there are so very, very many amazing veg options that there really is no reason at all to eat meat. Next time you come to LA, visit Crossroads. It’s the best restaurant in LA and is entirely Vegan. Much better than Greens or the other places you mentioned. Thank you again!

  • July 6, 2015 7:12pm

    I’m definitely trying this recipe! I’m really curious to see how the texture turns out. I hope it’s not too “mousse-like” but has a slight firmness like foie gras entier or bloc de foie gras.

  • Nancy
    July 6, 2015 7:13pm

    THANK-YOU for posting this! I enjoy your blog and as a vegan I am pleased to see this recipe here. I hope you will include more vegetarian/vegan information and recipes in the future as well. Your photos and descriptions are always a pleasure to see and read about!

  • July 6, 2015 7:13pm

    I have to bring the starter to our Descartes-based Bastille Day (yes, I know we’re not supposed to call it that anymore, just quatorze juillet) celebration and we’re all huge foie gras fans. (One friend who will be there makes it for us every Christmas.) I’m going to bring it and not say a thing and see what the response is. Thanks for this!

    • Kathleen Dobek
      July 6, 2015 8:02pm

      Why can’t you call it Bastille Day?

      • July 6, 2015 8:33pm

        Because the French don’t ever call it that. It’s la Fête Nationale, or just le quatorze juillet.

  • Beth A. Bromfield
    July 6, 2015 7:51pm

    Yum! David, you need to put a print function on your blog site.

  • Helen C
    July 6, 2015 7:54pm

    Just made the Paté.Not to be compared to Pate de Foie. Ok flavour, not bad mouth feel, considering. Recipe needs tweaking, IMHO. Will start by adding a bit of duck fat….

  • Karen
    July 6, 2015 7:57pm

    This looks delicious but I’m always stumped for a substitution for the nuts. I’m allergic to nuts but would like to try making this.

    • July 6, 2015 8:29pm

      Karen – try sunflower seeds. If you soak the raw seeds overnight in cold water, it makes them even creamier when blended (drain and discard water!). :)

  • July 6, 2015 8:33pm

    David – this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    I’ve read wonderful things about a Paris restaurant called The Gentle Gourmet Café (vegan). Curious if you know anyone who has eaten there and what they thought?

  • July 6, 2015 8:35pm
    David Lebovitz

    Beth: Check here for why there isn’t one.

    Karen: Although I haven’t tried either, I’m pretty sure sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would work fine.

    Rom: The texture is intentionally dense, perhaps to replicated traditional pâté, which usually isn’t mousse-like. But if you want to try it in a powerful blender, let us know how it turns out in case others want to try it.

    V: Things are changing but, as mentioned in the post, there aren’t really many restaurants in Paris that are everyday kinds of places (ie: mid-range priced), that focus squarely on grains and vegetables. But I think if one opened, it’d be a big hit.

    Kathleen: Use those limes – especially those lovely yellow limes you get in Mexico. (And make yourself a margarita to go alongside it, too, while you’re at it!)

    • mariann Davis
      July 19, 2015 9:30pm

      HELP!!!! I NEED to ( long story) make ham, blue cheese and pear quiche and I can’t find pear. What can I substitute? Fig? Some type of apple? Apricot? I am in the US
      Really appreciate the help

      • July 19, 2015 10:22pm
        David Lebovitz

        I’ve not made it with other fruit but you could omit the pears and made the recipe without. Enjoy!

  • Elena
    July 6, 2015 8:37pm

    Thank you very much for this great recepie!
    I am a vegetarian, and I can not be more content.

  • Lindsey
    July 6, 2015 8:54pm

    incredibly simple to make, and delicious! thank you for posting this recipe. I’m a huge (vegetarian) fan of your blog!

  • July 6, 2015 9:12pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe and for your blog, which I always enjoy reading. I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve tried one of your recipes – I can’t wait to try this one!

  • Teri L.
    July 6, 2015 9:21pm

    Thank you David! My husband and I have been happily eating vegetarian in Paris for years. As a treat we occasionally write ahead to L’Arpege or one of the other veg-friendly Michelin restaurants. For every day, however, there are plenty of options, although they tend to be ethnic or crunchy American-style, like Bob’s Juice Bar or Le Potager du Marais. Agreed that more vegetable-focused places would be welcome! BTW Paris By Mouth is helpful for finding veg-friendly spots.

  • July 6, 2015 9:33pm

    I’ve been making my version of liver pate for years using mushrooms and garlic and while I don’t even know anymore if it’s close to liver, all I know is that everyone loves it.

    There are few things I really hate and two involve using animals in unnatural ways to get something we want for ourselves; foie gras and veal. Neither are worth it to me if I think of an animal suffering so we can have a luxury. So…I’m VERY excited to try this. I’ve tasted foie gras and it is sublime; would love to have something close that I can make without reservation so thanks!

  • Kari
    July 6, 2015 11:02pm

    What an interesting take on a cultural food movement.

  • Liz
    July 6, 2015 11:38pm

    This sounds lovely. I had something similar years ago in Taos that used black beans and toasted pine nuts in place of the lentils and walnuts.

  • July 7, 2015 12:30am

    I love love this recipe. I use lentil in many of my recipes and I am always on the look for more inspiration. I just posted a link to your recipe on my restaurant facebook page.
    Thank you.

  • Gavrielle
    July 7, 2015 4:21am

    Very interesting update on French vegetarianism! My vegetarian business partner went to boarding school in Paris and she didn’t find it exactly easy, so it’s great things are changing. And as it happens, finding a good mushroom-lentil pate was on my tasklist for this week, so thanks for the amazingly timely help!

  • July 7, 2015 3:02pm

    Totally making this this weekend.

  • Tallybalt
    July 7, 2015 4:34pm

    I love green lentils, particularly the lentilles du puy and I cook with it quite often.

    One of my favorite dishes with the lentils is the simple stewed carrots, tomato and lentils recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Not long ago I observed that it had a similar texture and finish to a traditional spaghetti bolognese and I had an eureka moment and sprinkled parmigiano-reggiano on it. And yes, it was almost exactly like the spaghetti bolognese.

    Not long afterwards I had a vegetarian friend over for dinner and made the lentils dish and tossed it with fettucine and parmigiano-reggiano . It was wonderful and really very evocative of bolognese.

    Green Puy lentils are so versatile as a meat substitute that it’s surprising most people, including vegetarians, aren’t aware of it.

  • Jane
    July 7, 2015 5:04pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have made my vegetarian day, and I can’t wait to try this.

  • Jessica
    July 7, 2015 5:05pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    Although I do eat meat, my husband is a vegetarian. We mostly cook vegetarian at home, as it is easier and I don’t care to handle raw meat often. This would be the perfect recipe to try for a summer picnic and hopefully will satisfy both of us.

  • Gilda
    July 8, 2015 12:24am

    David, let me tell you this: I love you more each time I eat or read about anything you share. Thank you.

  • Maureen
    July 8, 2015 10:14am

    Hi, are you aware of any cooking class that might be available at very late notice. Would like to find 2 openings on 8, 9, or 10 of July. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Prefer vegetation or pastry or baking class. Thank you very much. Maureen

  • Math
    July 9, 2015 6:45am

    David, thanks for this great post.

    There is a wonderful vegan spread sold in NYC fancy food stores called Faux Gras. It takes a different approach to the more “classic” vegetarian recipe you’ve adapted here – it has no mushrooms. And it’s delicious and addictive…


    It’s expensive, though, so I’ve made my own, with great success, by more or less following their ingredient list: caramelized shallots, white miso paste, ume plum vinegar, walnuts, a dash of mirin, and lentils. I think the secret ingredient (celebrated as well in Adam Sobel’s INCREDIBLE Street Vegan cookbook) is the plum vinegar.

    …I’ve also noticed in recent trips to Paris that fewer people think I’m crazy when I tell them I’m mostly vegan. Change is afoot! Thanks for reporting on it.

  • Allison
    July 9, 2015 7:30pm

    I made a half recipe of this yesterday and it was more than enough for two of us! I used Le Puy lentils as that was all I had, pecans, rum (no cognac in the house) and creminis. It is delicious, a nice change from our usual hummus. Densely textured, not mousse-like, great with small toasts. I would not hesitate to serve this to guests. Thank you David for a kind alternative to foie.

  • July 10, 2015 12:31am

    Thank you David for this lovely recipe. I have to say though in my haste to get some pecans (30 km journey) I failed to read the recipe properly and used 140 gr green lentils that I cooked! This made a huge amount as you can imagine but not realising my mistake until the end I did not compensate for the other ingredients, however it was still very tasty and all done very easily in one bowl in my Thermomix. I will pay more attention next time.

  • Sybil
    July 10, 2015 10:45am

    David, this is so extraordinarily close to the “vegetarian liver” I have bought for my son every year for passover that I cannot help thinking it is tasty. That stuff is really good! I can’t wait to try it out. No way for me to compare to foie gras, but…

  • Sybil
    July 10, 2015 11:15am

    PS our usual joke is on the subject of why vegetarians’ livers taste so good. (Served with fava beans and a nice Chianti.)

  • July 10, 2015 4:30pm

    This sounds interesting. I’ll definitely have to try it sometime.

  • Julia
    July 10, 2015 10:15pm

    As an Eastern European (living in Western Europe), I was just wondering what is wrong with Eastern European goose liver, besides the general market protection arguments? I totally understand if someone doesn’t eat meat or considers stuffing cruel, but if is has to be foie gras, why is the Western version better?

    • July 10, 2015 10:46pm
      David Lebovitz

      A lot of commercial foie gras production was moved to Eastern Europe (probably due to lower production costs) so a lot of the foie gras imported into France, and elsewhere, is the result of commercial production. (Some might say “Product of France,” although the livers may be raised elsewhere. And there are large-scale commercial producers in France as well.)

      Unless you’re buying it from a small producer, since so much large-scale production was moved to Eastern European countries, for those wanting to avoid foie gras produced in factories, unless you buy from a small-scale producer of foie gras from outside of France (I’ve never seen any small-scale foie gras sold in France for another country, although I have tasted some from Spain at a food expo), it’s likely anything imported into France is from a large-scale producer. And some people want to avoid that.

  • Julia
    July 10, 2015 10:16pm

    * sorry: … if IT has to be….

  • Lori
    July 11, 2015 12:05am

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, David. I sent it and a batch of your shallot marmalade home with a friend. Assessment: “Oh my god. That faux gras and shallot marmalade … the most perfect taste in the world.” You never fail me, David!

  • Jennifer
    July 11, 2015 9:54pm

    Made this today to bring to dinner with my French friend, Catherine. We have made traditional pate together, and her late father was quite the outdoorsman and made wonderful game pate. I taste tested it on rustic olive bread – plain, with pickled red onion, and with an orange-fig confit. All were delicious and a slight edge went to the onion. We’ll get more votes on the board tonight!

    The texture is dense and the flavor is delicious, especially letting it sit for a while to blend the flavors. Sending it to my daughter who follows a paleo diet!

    • Jennifer
      July 12, 2015 2:20pm

      The faux gras was the subject of debate last night. Everyone thought the taste was good and it was an excellent departure from the unsavory treatment of geese to make fois gras. The texture was an issue for everyone and the general concensus was that it needed more fat. So, tonight the remainder goes back into the food processor and I’ll add olive oil a tablespoon at a time to improve texture and spread ability.

  • Sandra
    July 12, 2015 5:57am

    delicious. I think i’ll add a bit more brandy next time

  • Simone
    July 12, 2015 6:54pm

    Just made this and it’s fantastic. I added more cognac, and a few ounces of room temp butter in the food processor at the end :-)

  • Nathalie
    July 12, 2015 7:17pm

    Just made a batch. It tastes very nice but the mix was a bit dry so I have added a liberal amount of butter to the paste. I am leaving rest overnight so that flavours can develop (just like for a traditional paté).

  • Shandel
    July 17, 2015 9:09am

    David, this is extra gorgeous, you know you are my no 1 go to, whenever I make your recipes they are the best.
    Yes it is a smidgen dry, but I am putting out butter, biscuits and bread, so guests can choose for themselves.

  • July 18, 2015 1:17am

    Well, could not locate French lentils ANY where, outside of a can so, going to attempt this with pink/orange lentils.
    Adding shiitake to the mushroom mix.
    Butter, shiitake & roasted pecans – what’s not to love?!

    • shandel
      July 18, 2015 9:04am

      well washed organic brown lentils from a tin should work in an emergency?
      I used Puy because they are everywhere here and added a bouquet garnet to give a little more flavour to the lentils.

      • July 18, 2015 1:04pm
        David Lebovitz

        Yes, they should work fine.

  • charlotte steinzig
    July 18, 2015 2:50am

    I just made this, only detouring from the recipe by the use of cheap (faux?) brandy. My daughter and her husband and I never got around to dinner and ate this instead – with whole wheat crackers. Did I say we ate it ALL? Delicious. Thank you for this.

  • Isaac
    July 18, 2015 9:46pm

    This is similar to a something I made when I was craving my mum’s chicken liver pate but needed a vegetarian version. I used regular green lentils, rather than the puy variety, and no mushrooms. I added yeast extract to give a savoury flavour but I think my real breakthrough was finely grating some oak smoked cheddar into the mix which made it seem even more meat-like.

    For people who want a richer, more luxurious mouth-feel I would suggest skipping the oil and using butter instead and also adding in a splash of double (heavy) cream.

    I also think it works best if you give it it a thorough blast in the food processor for a much smoother blend.

    And lastly, pour some melted butter on top and finish with a sprig of thyme or bay leaf.

    I find the flavours of the pate come through much more strongly after a day or two in the fridge so it’s definitely worth making ahead.

    I’ve served this to friends who have been dumbstruck that it doesn’t contain any meat, and it was certainly up there with my mum’s chicken liver pate!

  • shandel
    July 19, 2015 3:31pm

    David, I am usually not one to tinker with your recipes, but I am going to make this for a dinner I am doing for some vietnamese buddhist monks, they don’t eat garlic or onion (they do eat dairy) just wondering what I can do to give the dip a bit of zing, maybe some sautéed celery, and I was thinking of putting some horseradish sauce on the side, what else would you recommend?

    • July 19, 2015 7:47pm
      David Lebovitz

      I would pair it with some sort of spicy/vinegary chutney (or tangy marmalade or jam), putting a dab on top of each serving.

  • Karen
    July 21, 2015 4:24pm

    Made both recipes this past weekend to serve at a cocktail party. I’m a big DL & pate fan so it pains me to say that this pate — for me — will never replace the real thing. The shallot marmalade, however, is a keeper!

  • ayelet
    July 22, 2015 2:00am

    Hi there David,
    Will Rye be an apt substitute for the Cognac or Brandy?
    Would love to try this recipe but only have That on hand.
    Cheers from Brooklyn

    Yes! – dl

  • Michèle
    July 27, 2015 6:07pm

    Made this recipe for a gathering of Compostelle friends from Québec and France, some that are vegetarians. They all loved it! Thanks for the recipe and it was so easy!

  • Linda Beuret
    August 1, 2015 7:06pm

    Made it exactly following recipe including Puy Lentils. Tasty but don’t think it tastes anything like Foie Gras.

    • Karen
      August 1, 2015 11:26pm

      I was hugely disappointed in the faux pate first, because it did not taste anything like pates I’ve known & loved & second, because I had such high hopes for it that I doubled the recipe! Fortunately, I doubled the shallot marmalade recipe as well, so the effort was not a total toss. I took both to a local cocktail party & essentially came home with 90% of what I brought. And I followed the recipe to the letter!

  • Lea
    August 4, 2015 1:50am

    I’ve made this twice in the past two weeks for different crowds and, both times, I’ve been asked for the recipe. The guys think they are getting the real thing and I’m happy knowing that I have added a little something to the menu that no one has to feel guilty about eating. I love it with roasted cherry tomatoes and cornichons. There’s something about the sweet and sour… Thanks for another tasty addition to our regular snack menu.

    • Shandel
      August 4, 2015 2:42am

      I too have made it twice and I would make it again tomorrow in a heartbeat! I didn’t have time to cook puy lentils the second time, so used organic tinned brown lentils, the taste was a little different, not quite as delicious. So I served it with a grated horseradish – a very kosher sort of dish and it was delicious, it really cut through.

      David, we love these cruelty free recipes and would welcome more of them in the future.

  • Oonagh
    August 4, 2015 3:58am

    I made this to go with aperos and it is delicious. The recipe makes a LOT, so I froze half. I think the booze is essential for that authentic pate taste. The texture is quite thick but it works very well. Thank you, David!