Thursday, May 28, 2015

Recipe: Raw Pizza Pate

What's a girl to do when her neighbor hands her a big bunch of lettuce and green onions fresh from his garden?  Make a salad, of course!  But more importantly, top it with something super tasty and fresh.

My inspiration was what's in abundance in my own garden:  oregano.  This perennial herb has been spreading like a weed, and it seems that the more I use the more it grows.  This does not upset me because I've been enjoying plenty of pesto made from it and tossed with pasta and veggies or even as a salad dressing.

I made a modified version of oregano oil which is how I lightly dressed these gorgeous tender leaves. Simply pulse together in your food processor a huge bunch of fresh herbs, in this case oregano, and add the juice of about half a lemon, a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, a clove or two of garlic, about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and enough olive oil to make smooth (about 1/2 a cup).  Then pour it all into a squeeze bottle.  It keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.  Just be sure to let it warm up to room temperature before use because the olive oil will solidify when it's chilled.
I topped the simple salad with an equally simple raw pate made with walnuts, pecans, carrot, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, shallot, fresh basil, and sea salt.  I figured it would be delicious since I love all of those ingredients, and after I had blended it together I thought to myself, "hmmm.... wait, this tastes familiar.... kinda like... pizza!!"  Yes indeed, once you take your first bite you will be transported to the taste memory of brick ovens and garlicky baked goods and a hint of cheese.  I scooped up mine with the lettuce leaves, making little bite-sized raw pizza pate packages wrapped in green.  It was such a refreshing reward after an afternoon working in the yard.

Raw Pizza Pate
(makes 2-4 servings)
1/4 cup walnuts (soaked in water 1 hour, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup pecans (soaked in water 1 hour, drained and rinsed)
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 Tbl shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic
6 sundried tomatoes
8 kalamata olives
1 large handful of fresh basil
1 handful of fresh Italian parsley
sea salt to taste
1-2 Tbl water, or enough to blend

Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse together a few times to roughly chop ingredients, then blend until mixture begins to clump together, adding enough water to achieve a pate consistency.

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