Wednesday 5 March 2008

Paté and Cat Hair

I made paté recently and was a bit overwhelmed at a huge container in my fridge. Then I discovered it was great to take to work for lunches to eat with raw vegie and cold toast. So now that it is finished I have decided to return to an old favourite paté recipe which I prefer. It isn’t rich and dark like my other paté which looked scarily meaty. This one is much lighter. It is packed with green beans, tofu and subtle flavours, and has a pleasing green tinge to it.

The recipe called for dried thyme and sage but as I have thyme and sage in the garden I decided to use fresh. However, I have found a something else to beware of with fresh herbs – cat hair. I washed the herbs and they still seemed to have some gossamer in them which I recognized as Zinc’s white hair. The wee rascal doesn’t have especially long hair but it does get everywhere. You only have to pat her and you come away with a handful. The number of times I am walking to work and I look down at my clothes and realize they are full of cat hair. And now it is even in my herbs.

So I picked out the cat hair, washed my herbs again and made the paté. I served it with some lovely Polish corn bread from the market. Just the sort of dark nubbly bread I imagine that the Finns would eat it with.

Finnish Green Bean Paté

350g tofu (medium firm or soft)
2 cups (approx 450g) steamed green beans
½ cup toasted walnuts
1 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp mayonnaise or plain yoghurt
2 tsp prepared mustard (I used wholegrain)
1 large onion, peeled
2 tsp vegie oil
½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)
½ tsp dried sage (or 1 tsp fresh)
¼ tsp ground coriander
1 dill pickle cucumber finely chopped (approx ¼ cup)
Freshly ground black pepper

Blanch and press tofu (I didn’t blanch as I never blanch anything but did try and press a little water out of the tofu in a very inexperienced way that involved a chopping board, a plastic tub and a paper towel – just use your imagination!) Grate tofu or mash it up with a fork. Set aside in a mixing bowl.

Use food processor to finely chop onions. Put onion aside and place one or two tbsp of raw chopped onions in the food processor with green beans, walnuts, tamari, mayonnaise (or yoghurt) and mustard in the food processor. Blend, scraping down sides a few times. Tip into bowl with tofu.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Saute onions in oil with herbs and coriander for about 5 minutes over medium low heat. Tip into bowl with tofu and beans.

Add pickle and plenty of fresh black pepper. Mix well. Refridgerate til well chilled. Serve with rice crackers, rye bread or vegetables.

On Stereo:
Act of Free Choice: David Bridie


  1. Pate - great; cat hair, not so much! I sympathise - I have the same problem x 2!

  2. Aah, the joys of pet ownership!

    My husband just mentioned yesterday that he's a bit disturbed how much cat/dog hair survives the washing machine, only to be removed by the dryer.

    My reply: "At least it's clean pet hair."

  3. Yum, I love spreads like this. You know, just open the fridge when you need a little snack and there it is and it's portable too! I must try this one Johanna as the flavors have my attention!
    And what's wrong with a little extra "fiber" that Zinc contributed!

  4. Ah yes, the cat hair in herbs sounds familiar...
    Mine seem to be particularly partial to mint so whenever I make mint tea, I have to do an awful lot of picking and cleaning.
    Great recipe.

  5. thanks for your sympathy forkful - you sound like you understand!

    thanks Mrs W - I have also found cat hair survives our washing machine but I have a theory it blows off clothes in the wind (probably into my herbs)

    thanks Deb - hope you get to try it as I am loving having this in the fridge (but now you have me thinking about recipes specifying 1 tsp of zinc hair!)

    thanks spacedlaw - mint tea from the garden sounds wonderful even after picking out cat hair


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