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Walnut- “Pate” Sandwiches

I’ve been mentioning lately that things have gotten pretty hectic. Between crunching data for the home-stretch of my Master’s Degree, recent traveling, a health issue that had me laid-up for a couple weeks and moving, I’ve really had to use planning ahead as my friend, to create short-cuts and make things easier later- to keep us eating local, healthy, economical meals at home. One of the things I came up with, was this protein-packed walnut-pate to have on hand for use as a dip, and sandwich spread. These walnuts are unfortunately not local, but I have seen them for sale at the Alan family farm booth at the Pullman Farmer’s Market.

With pretty low input time, at a few timely stages, this recipe becomes quite easy. The key to the pate was to build in a flavorful foundation. I did this by soaking the walnuts with green onions and garlic, in an already-flavorful chicken broth that I made from one of our ever-present Link’d Hearts chickens. The broth already had cooked in the crockpot for several hours with some of my favorite herbs and other aromatics, like rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, dried celery, garlic, onion and peppers for lots of flavor.

After soaking the walnuts all day, in chicken broth (could be vegetable broth for those who prefer not to eat meat) – I added lots of fresh basil, a splash of oil and red wine vinegar/lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then, with my favorite small appliance (next to my coffee-maker, of course), my hand blender, to puree the softened walnuts into a smooth, savory paste. This could actually be adapted in a lot of different ways, particularly with what you add-in before you blend.

The result was a yummy, healthy-fat and protein-packed, versatile paste, similar to humus, that can be used as a dip or spread. You can see in the photo where I spread it on sprouted English muffins from the Moscow Food Co-op, with roasted chicken, cucumbers and other veggies that we got in our CSA share to make an amazing, quick and hearty, sandwich for lunch or dinner.

Did you make this? Tell us- what did you combine it with? Where did you get your walnuts? What bread/wrap/chip/cracker/pita did you love with it? Have you made sweet or savory spreads and dips with other nuts or locally available seeds? Please share with us in the comments

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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