Daring Cooks June – Pâté


Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of The Chocolate Bunny, chose pâté with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cooks’ challenge! They provided us with 4 different pâté recipes to choose from and allowed us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

I have to admit, my heart sank a little when I read this month’s Daring Cooks’ challenge.  Firstly, I suck at breadmaking, secondly, I kind of don’t “do” offal.  The only pâté that I truly like to eat is Maggie Beer’s Pheasant Farm Pâté which you unfortunately cannot get here.  Some of the chunkier pâté de campagne that you can buy in France are also ok, but the thought of making them? Sorry ladies…  Thankfully there was a vegetarian option which looked fairly simple and tasty.

The breadmaking part? Well even though bread is clearly my nemesis, I was actually prepared to tackle it. That is, until United Airlines messed with my schedule.  Well actually, they messed with Conor’s schedule but since we were picking her up, it affected us too.  Instead of arriving at 4.30pm, which would have meant collecting her just in time for apéritifs and getting the yeast starter going sometime after a leisurely barbecue dinner, poor Conor dragged herself through Arrivals at around 10.45pm, sans bagages (bien sûr!) and to be honest, the last thing on my  mind then was making a yeast starter.  The girl needed a bite to eat, a big glass of wine, a toothbrush and some pajamas.

So I present you a half a Daring Cooks’ challenge.  Sorry everyone but sometimes life gets in the way.

This was actually one of the easiest things I have made recently and even though it got some suspicious sideways glances from our carnivorous friends (yes, Me Neil, we’re talking about you!), it was devoured with great gusto.  Neil even went back for seconds and thirds, which is a huge compliment coming from someone who will regularly ask of my vegetarian dishes “Where’s the meat?” or “Is that it?”

A word of warning if you are going to attempt this – it DOES make a HUGE amount of “pâté” (and yes, I am putting that in inverted commas because any self-respecting Frenchman would not call this a pâté – it is much more like a dip in its consistency anyway).  I would halve or even quarter the recipe next time (we had a few people over for dinner so it was fine but there was still a fair amount of leftovers) and make it in a small round dish for prettier presentation. I would also change up the layers to make the cannellini bean layer go in the middle since it’s the least attractive of the three.  I would also make the three layers up first before I put them in the mold to make sure I had the same amount of each mixture – as you can see from the photos, it’s fairly cannellini bean heavy.

Having said all that, it tasted great 🙂



Tricolor Vegetable Pâté

Bon Appétit | October 1993
Yield: Serves 12 to 14

White Bean Layer
2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Red Pepper Layer
1 7-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Pesto Layer
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
Fresh herb sprigs
Sourdough bread slices
Line 8 1/2×4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

For Bean Layer:
Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

For Red Pepper Layer:
Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

For Pesto Layer:
Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.


As promised, today is the day I announce the winner of the Easy and Elegant Dinner Calphalon Utensils giveaway.  Random.org chose Daydreamer Desserts!  Congratulations Josie!  Please get in touch with your address and I will mail you the fab utensils asap!


48 Responses to Daring Cooks June – Pâté

  1. Jenn June 14, 2010 at 05:33 #

    Your “pâté” looks great! I also did not end up making a real pâté, but it was tasty nonetheless. I think it’s perfectly fine that you didn’t bake a bread – life does happen! Great pic too! This was a hard one to photograph…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 16, 2010 at 08:49 #

      Yes, I was actually hoping it would work out to take a photo because it wasn’t the most photogenic!

  2. Miranda June 14, 2010 at 07:04 #

    This looks great! I must admit, I have never had Pate…But I will be trying it soon…Thanks

  3. Belinda @zomppa June 14, 2010 at 07:57 #

    I LOVE pate, but I never had vegetarian pate. I am so impressed!

  4. penny aka jeroxie June 14, 2010 at 08:15 #

    At least you did half! And did you put Conor in hammer pants jammie?

    • Conor @ HoldtheBeef June 16, 2010 at 17:15 #

      Hammer pants pyjamas are genius. GENIUS! The magic of hammer while you sleep.

  5. Daydreamer Desserts June 14, 2010 at 08:54 #

    I saw your tweet this morning, and ran over to check out your newest post. As I was reading the story I kept waiting for a reference to dessert, candy, or your trip to California! LOL I had no clue! Thank you so much Mardi!

    PS. Your vegetarian pâté looks fantastic!

  6. Lori Lynn June 14, 2010 at 10:01 #

    Hi Mardi – it does sound tasty. Your suggestions for improvement sound spot on!

    Remember when flying used to be fun?

  7. Stella June 14, 2010 at 10:18 #

    I just saw this on F.B. I love it-really wholesome and delicious looking- a great idea for the hot weather! I don’t want meat or heavy things when it’s like this…

  8. viviane bauquet farre / food & style June 14, 2010 at 11:01 #

    Mardi, Your post made me smile… I could almost feel your heart sink when you read your options for the challenge… But I must say your veggie pâté looks colorful and delicious, not to mention that it’s a bit healthier than its “offal” counterparts. Kudos!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 16, 2010 at 08:47 #

      Well, yes, there’s the “healthy” factor as well! I will leave the offal pâté to Neil!

      • Mr. Neil June 18, 2010 at 08:23 #

        I think “offal” pates are most healthy! Let’s not disregard using the whole beast…

  9. Rochelle (Acquired Taste) June 14, 2010 at 12:08 #

    I love the middle layer! It’s a gorgeous orangeish red color 😀 Sorry to hear you didn’t get to make the bread.

    I have to say though with all the extra pate, it makes for fairly healthy food for a couple of days 😀

  10. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious June 14, 2010 at 13:31 #

    nice job!

    I totally didnt’ realize it was DC day already. Whoops! It’s ok though… I love pate, but also can’t stomach the thought of making it myself. i was planning to do a veggie version too.

  11. bunkycooks June 14, 2010 at 15:39 #

    Your pate looks lovely! I can certainly understand about life (and other issues) getting in the way of finishing the challenge! I would agree that it was very tasty, but made a huge amount (which, unfortunately, was thrown away). Hope you all had great fun when Connor finally did arrive!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 16, 2010 at 08:43 #

      Oh we still have a huge amount in the fridge but it’s pretty tasty smeared on a baguette…

  12. Baking Serendipity June 14, 2010 at 16:57 #

    Don’t you just hate air travel? It might be the least reliable thing, and most frustrating when it fails (other than technology!). I’m glad you were still able to make this…it looks like you’ve done a great job!

  13. Barbara Bakes June 14, 2010 at 17:37 #

    I hate when life gets in the way of baking. I made the same pate and it definitely tasted great.

  14. lo June 14, 2010 at 18:32 #

    I’ll admit it, we tangled with the offal, and while it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t AWE-full either! And we totally understand about how life manages to get in the way of even the best intentions — still, you made a seriously good run for your money. Good move opting for the veggie pate. I think it’s pretty gorgeous, particularly that red pepper layer!

  15. K a b l o o e y June 14, 2010 at 20:22 #

    That recipe sounds very tasty, and this from a pate LOVER. I never buy it anymore, but am a big fan and have fond memories of eating it in your Paris. But the veggie version you made really does look and sound tasty. Good idea to put the bean layer in the middle.

  16. Jenni June 14, 2010 at 21:08 #

    Great job! Your pate’ (and yes, it is more like a dip, isn’t it?) looks beautiful! You did a much better job of getting your layers even than I did.

  17. Linda's Yummies June 14, 2010 at 22:31 #

    Never had pate but wouldn’t mind trying the one you made. Color combo looks great.

  18. Apeksha June 14, 2010 at 22:44 #

    Your Pate looks great!

    I’m almost in the same boat as yours……I did try the bread….but it didnt turn out well!!

  19. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz June 15, 2010 at 00:46 #

    Off to the Daring Cooks’ naughty corner you go lol. Kidding. Wow surprised to hit all your fear buttons on this one..sorry lol :-(. Make sure you ship me Conor in one piece with still enough room in her stomach!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 16, 2010 at 08:37 #

      Oh that’s no problem. I learned a new recipe in any case! Conor will hopefully still have room in her tummy!

  20. Casey Angelova June 15, 2010 at 06:48 #

    I missed this challenge for some of the same reasons you mentions… my dislike of offal. I saw liver in the shop, it looked fresh, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it (hanging my head in shame), but who knows… one day!

  21. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) June 15, 2010 at 07:48 #

    Bravo ! At least yours unmolded correctly 🙂 mine became a dip – an extremely tasty dip but a dip. I to was reprimanded from my Frenchie hubby saying this is a terrine and definitely not a pâte !!

  22. Suzie the Foodie June 15, 2010 at 08:08 #

    I agree, very impressive and love that you went with a vegetarian option!

  23. 5 Star Foodie June 15, 2010 at 10:48 #

    This is such a pretty pate!

  24. Mr. Neil June 15, 2010 at 11:09 #

    Yes, this gets the Mr. Neil stamp of approval. Nice with a bageutte.

  25. Magic of Spice June 15, 2010 at 18:35 #

    Looks great!

  26. Conor @ HoldtheBeef June 16, 2010 at 17:18 #

    I am eternally grateful that my needs for food, booze, clean teeth and non-hammer pyjamas came before bread baking.

    Also, this “pate” was freakin’ awesome. Will be using this recipe for sure, though maybe not the 12 person size unless I happen to be inviting 11 people around for dinner. I propose that if you had made the bread as well, the fabulousness of your bread (no doubt) would have detracted from the awesomeness of this pate and thus have been a waste of energy.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 19, 2010 at 11:39 #

      Oh you are SO right about the bread detracting from the “pâté”… and guess what? We STILL have some leftover!

  27. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best June 17, 2010 at 21:24 #

    I never thought about a vegetarian version of pate. I like that you took a unique approach to this challenge.


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