This faux gras is made from mushrooms and lentils and well- seasoned for an umami-rich spread that is very similar in taste to pâté. Foie gras is really popular in France, and when living there I discovered a tasty plant-based version at a small vegan shop called Végétal & Vous. Back home in Canada, my homemade version has become the perfect replacement for the little tin of faux gras that I used to buy in Lille. The best way to enjoy it, in my opinion, is generously spread on toasted garlic bread.
Faux Gras [Vegan]
For the Faux Gras:
- Heaping 1/2 cup dried French green lentils (du Puy lentils)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 8 ounces (225 g) white button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- baguette, cut into 1-inch-thick slices 2 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
to 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 cup arugula, for topping (optional)
Make the Faux Gras:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and the juices from the mushrooms have mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook until fragrant, another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Scrape the mushroom medley into a food processor. Add the lentils, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup, tomato paste, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined and smooth. Transfer to 2 small jars. Serve or chill for later.
- Serve topped with a few arugula greens, if desired.
When Ready to Serve, Make the Garlicky Bread:
- Set the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub one side of each slice of baguette with cut side of garlic, then butter each slice.
- Lay the bread on the prepared baking sheet and toast under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve baguette slices alongside the faux gras for slathering.
Store the faux gras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator the day before using.