Traditional patés are made from liver. They are delicious and extremely nutritious being rich in protein, choline, vitamins A, B3 (niacin), folate, B12 (cobalamin), iron, phosphorus and selenium. It’s no wonder liver (beef, chicken, veal, goose, pig etc) is considered the original superfood, especially in the ancestral health and diet circles.
But not everyone wants to eat liver or even likes it so an alternative version comes in handy such as this vegan eggplant walnut pate. It’s full of flavor and has a decent mouthfeel. Not as creamy feeling as liver pate and you have to like eggplant to enjoy this. If ratatouille isn’t your thing, you might not like this pate
Walnuts are mostly fat and that’s OK. About 65% of their calories come from fat, specifically the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. Walnuts are also a great source of one type of omega-3 fat called alpha-linoleic acid or ALA.
ALA is found in both plant foods and animal foods but even though its an omega-3 fat, it shouldn’t be confused with its omega-3 fat sibling EPA, DPA & DHA found exclusively in animal foods such as fish, seafood, and eggs. If you’re vegan or vegetarian but don’t eat fish, getting a source of EPA and DHA from algae oil is crucial to your health.
Walnuts are also one of the best sources of vitamin E. Unlike almonds and other nuts, walnuts are rich in the form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol. soluble fiber, magnesium and antioxidants.
Many don’t like the texture of eggplant. If you’re not one of them, you’ll love this pate. Eggplant has a smattering of vitamins and minerals, but like many plants, their health benefits from plant compounds called phytonutrients, specifically polyphenols. One type of polyphenol found in eggplants is anthocyanins which give them their distinct purple color.
Polyphenols are well understood to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Eggplant is also rich in fiber, especially a type of viscous fiber that helps to balance blood sugar, increase fullness or satiety helping people to eat less which may help with weight management.
Enjoy this pate any day of the week; it’s not just for special occasions. It goes great on whole-grain crackers, vegetable sticks or as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.
Eggplant Walnut Pate
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root peeled, grated, and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic mashed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Pierce the eggplant in several places with a fork or knife. and bake until very soft. About 45 minutes. This helps to keep the eggplant moist versus slicing like you would for parmesan.
Grind the walnuts in a food processor while the eggplant is baking. Grind the nuts until they are very fine and set aside.
Take the eggplant out from the oven and carefully slice it open. This will help release the steam. Be sure to drain off any excess liquid and when cool enough, scrape the pulp into the food processor.
Add the ginger root, olive oil, and garlic. Process until smooth.
Add the ground walnuts and allspice, sea salt and pepper and process again to blend.
Spoon into a small bowl and chill for several hours to let it firm up and for the flavors to blend.
Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, and mental health. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.