Puy lentil pâté has all the texture, tons of taste and endless possibilities.
Get a medium sized pan that you have a lid for. Add the lentils, garlic and water. Cover. Bring to the boil, take the lid off, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through, at this stage they usually have a little bite, right in the middle.
Add the half tsp salt and quarter tsp sugar. Cover the pan and leave to sit for 10 minutes. This period “rests” the lentils and lets them finish cooking completely.
Spoon the lentils and some of their cooking liquor into your liquidiser. Keep any remaining cooking liquor as you may need to add it. Add the olive oil. Blend the lentils for 2-3 minutes until the pate is totally smooth. If the pâté is too thick, add more olive oil or cooking liquor. There is no “correct thickness” but I prefer it roughly the texture of thick soup when I blend it as the pâté hardens when it cools. As you blend the lentils, you may need to stop the liquidiser a few times to scrape down the sides. The longer you liquidise the pâté for, the smoother and lighter it will be.
Season the pâté to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar. Spoon the pâté into ramekins or small jars and smooth down the top as best you can. Mix the diced tomato and basil together. Season to taste and spread it over the pâté in an even layer. Finally, spoon the extra virgin olive oil over the top.
Serve with fresh toast or grilled bread and crisp whole baby gem, romaine heart or endive leaves, pita bread and crudités.