I only tried foie gras once before before becoming pescatarian and though I did enjoy the flavour being that it’s basically a richer form of chicken liver pâte there was always the guilt of the method of production. We tried the foie gras in a French restaurant in Washington DC after explaining to the server that we had reservations over the cruelty and the French owner thinking that we were joking and serving it to us anyway. In the UK, foie gras has actually been banned now so there was at least one good thing to come out of 2021. This is what led the Michelin starred chef Alex Gauthier who is actually vegan himself to create a vegan version of foie gras. Obviously it’s not the same as the real thing but it’s still delicious coupled with Sauternes wine and it really still feels luxurious despite being very simple to make. The original recipe has beetroot purée in it which gives it the similar pink tone of the real stuff. You may want to omit this if you want it to be less reminiscent of meat.
Serves a lot in fact maybe half this recipe if possible
- 1 tbsp butter (vegan or normal if like me, you’re not vegan)
- 1 shallot
- pinch of salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 18 button mushrooms (I used 9 normal mushrooms)
- few sprigs rosemary
- few sprigs thyme
- few sage leaves
- 2 tbsp cognac
- 200g lentils (makes about 400g cooked)
- 150g walnuts
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp beetroot purée (I used 3 mini cooked beetroots)
1.) Put the lentils in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until cooked. Drain and place in the food processor.
2.) Peel and finely chop the shallot. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Strip the leaves from the herbs and finely dice.
3.) Melt the butter in a pan and cook the mushrooms and shallots until cooked.
4.) In the meantime, peel and finely chop the garlic.
5.) Add the garlic to the pan with the herbs and cook for one minute. Add the cognac and turn off the heat.
6.) Add the contents of the frying pan to the food processor.
7.) Toast the walnuts on a low heat until they’re starting to smell toasted.
8.) Add the walnuts to the food processor, along with the soy sauce and the beetroot. Blitz everything until a smooth paste is formed.
9.) Place into ramekins.
10.) Best served at room temperature with some crackers or bread and ideally some dessert wine.