Hypothetically speaking, if I had some sort of restaurant or space that served food to people that were A) willing to hang out with me and B) willing to pay for it, I would serve a version of this–on a big wooden board with lots of pickled veg, warm olives, a pot of mustard, really good bread, maybe some radishes and other crunchy roots. I could pair it with some other little veg-based charcuterie-ish concoction (I’ve been working on a few). There would always be a broth-y soup AND a puréed one with *chef kiss* garnishes. There would be homemade, super spicy ginger beer on draft. And salads that totally wouldn’t suck. Eggplant bacon + avocado BLT’s (working on that one too). Plus vegan earl grey chocolate milk shakes (!), some cozy bench seats, not-too-heavy, but just-heavy-enough silverware…
I might have got a little carried away there, but you get the idea. I like that rustic, all hands in, no fussing around kinda vibe implied by charcuterie/cheese boards. The preparation requires a bit of forethought, but the result is worth it. You get a variety of goods that are easy to present/enjoy with people you like. Obviously these sorts of things are traditionally made with meat. The potential for variety in flavour and texture is kind of exciting when you think about vegetables in this context though. My inspiration came from rillettes, which is generally prepared by slowly cooking cuts of salted pork (or other meats, sometimes fish etc.) in fat until soft. From here, the cooked meat is raked and mixed with the fat until a paste begins to form. The sheer amount of fat is what sets the mixture and allows it to keep for a while.
So yeah! Not entirely my thing, but sub in some broccoli and really good extra virgin olive oil for the off cuts + pork fat? Count me in. Ina Garten is kind of my queen when it comes to entertaining basics and her grainy mustard roasted potatoes are pretty much the best. I love broccoli with the sharp zing of a mustard-y vinaigrette, so I thought I could intensify that flavour union by taking Ina’s approach. I threw in a leek with the roasting broccoli to get some sweeter, caramelized onion-like qualities. Once everything’s soft, it goes for a whirl in the food processor with lemon, tons of olive oil, a little extra mustard, salt, pepper, and some nutritional yeast.
I save a bit of of the lightly blitzed vegetables to garnish this pâté of sorts and then pour a nice cap of EVEN MORE olive oil on top. This creates a textural thing and helps to preserve the brilliant green. I worked for a chef that grumbled to me one time about another cook at the restaurant making a batch of vinaigrette with all extra virgin olive oil and then storing it in the fridge overnight. The one litre container of it was solid and obviously not fit for immediate usage upon our realization at lunch the next day. Cool thing though? That approach gives this riff on traditional paté the solid heft that we’re looking for. Someone else’s mistakes = my veg-friendly charcuterie success. Anyway, this recipe is pretty easy, has normal/everyday ingredients and comes together pretty fast (minus chill time). Be a holiday hero to your plant-y friends. C’mon, do it.
Also! I’ve been making some stuff in other places lately. Here’s a little rundown with links: sweet potato chips AND homemade pumpkin spice lattes for Food 52, vegan + wholesome eggnog over at The Chalkboard and some GF + vegan maple masala chai jammer cookies for a little sweets fête at Daily Candy. More to come too–holidays hip hip! :)
MUSTARD-ROASTED BROCCOLI PATÉ WITH LEEKS & LEMON
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes roughly 2 cups of paté
NOTES: I’ve made this with cauliflower and romanesco instead of broccoli, and it was equally delicious. I think you could get away with using the diced up broccoli stems here as well, if you’re trying to get rid of some.
-The paté can rest in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if you’re making it ahead.
3 cups broccoli florets
1 leek, white + light green parts only, rough chopped
1 tablespoon heat-tolerant oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons grainy mustard, divided
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
sea salt and ground back pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for the top layer
flaky sea salt to finish, such as Maldon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the broccoli florets and leeks with the heat tolerant oil, 1 tbsp of mustard, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Once everything is coated, spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Roast the vegetables until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until the broccoli is finely chopped. Scoop up a spoonful to garnish the tops of your paté with. To the food processor, add the remaining mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parmesan/nutritional yeast. Pulse until everything is combined. With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil in through the feed tube. Continue to run the motor until you have a smooth, lightly chunky paste. Remove the bowl from the food processor and check the mixture for seasoning and adjust.
Scrape the paté mixture into your serving vessel and scatter the reserved fine chopped broccoli bits over the top, Pour a solid layer of more extra virgin olive oil on top. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours, or until the paté and oil layer are firm (but still spreadable). The paté can rest in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if you’re making it ahead.
Sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top of the paté before you serve it with sliced bread, crackers, olives, pickles, vegetables etc.