Leverpostei; another Norwegian classic reinvented

Liver pate, or leverpostei, is as common in Norway as smoked salmon, the brown cheese and that caviar that comes in a tube when it comes to spreads for open face sandwiches Norwegians eat for breakfast and lunch.  Every kid grew up eating leverpostei, perhaps with some sliced cucumbers or if you were a fan of pickled beets, those would be a perfect addition too.

As children in Norway, many were familiar with and saw this canned guy on the breakfast table every day:

leverposteigul

The can comes with different faces on it; the first face was of Per Andreas Christensen which was released 63 years ago.  Christensen was the son of the owner of the Stabburet factory in Fredrikstad, and was the cover of this liver pate until 1972.   Since, only five other faces have had the honor of being pictured on the package, according to a Norwegian press release.

This leverpostei was easy to keep, cheap (about $4) and super smooth (aka processed) – makes me really wonder what was in it, though!  It is estimated that over 50,000 cans of pate is being sold daily in Norway.

There are several reasons why you would want to make your own pate.  While leverpostei has been touted as really healthy and rich in iron, it depends what kind of pate you are eating. Commercial “leverpostei” is generally of really low quality; from additives and sugar, bad quality raw ingredients, over processed ingredients, excessive salt, nitrates and unnecessary conservation methods just to mention a few.  Making your own spread you have full control of what goes into the product, and wouldn’t you rather know what you’re eating?!

My mom would make her own liver pate for us when I was a kid, it was much more coarse in texture, almost like a French pate, with much more depth of flavor.   She made it especially for the Christmas holiday,  which is a tradition in Norway, as that is when our breakfast table became way more decadent than the rest of the year.   Her version was my inspiration for today’s recipe. Although hers was baked, mine requires no time in the oven – just a few hours in the fridge setting up.

Of course a major difference between the traditional leverpostei and mine, is that I don’t use animal products to make it. Typically the classic version uses some type of livers from animals like chicken or pork, but I chose to use lentils instead, along with mushrooms. You’d be amazed at how this combination can mimic both the texture and flavor of meat!

The pate will last about 5 days in the fridge, but you can also freeze it should you happen to have leftovers – it will hold up well in freezer for about 4 month.  Spread it on crackers or home made Norwegian style bread, served with pickles, cucumbers, or pickled sliced beets with fresh dill or other herbs. Really delicious and also lower in fat than its original, so you can have more!

I choose to call my version LEVEPOSTEI, omitting the R in the first word lever (Norwegian for liver), which turns the word into “Living Pate” because no animals were harmed in the making of this pate! 🙂
Velbekomme!

NORWEGIAN LEVEPOSTEI  

2 cups mixed mushrooms such as button, portobello and maitake, cleaned and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegan unsalted butter
1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups (400g) cooked green lentils
1 cup (140g) toasted walnuts or pecans
freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
optional: 2 teaspoons Cognac or sherry
teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5-5  minutes. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, parsley, Cognac or sherry (if using), brown sugar, and cayenne.  Process until completely smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if needed.
Pour the pâté into a serving bowl or small terrine and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

IMG_2578

Serve on homemade Norwegian style bread – I topped mine with sliced cucumbers, red onions, pepper and dill:

IMG_2613

 

10 thoughts on “Leverpostei; another Norwegian classic reinvented

  1. Sunny says:

    Thanks so much, Chez – glad to hear you like the sound of it (there is not much to the look of it lol!). It really does have a delicious taste – let me know how it comes out for you if you decide to make it! 😀

  2. Harald Aamodt says:

    Hi Sunny, I just read through the list of ingredients, and I think this is a very nice concoction, just don’t call it leverpostei. That’s akin to the Norwegian version of guacamole that substituted mashed peas for the avocado 🙂

    Harald AamodtEur-Am Link, LLC 5818 Clinton StreetErie, PA 16509, USA+1-814-440-3929www.eur-am-link.com 

    • Sunny says:

      Harald, I appreciate your comment, but it’s my blog and my creation and I can call it whatever I want. I have fun updating, recreating and veganizing classic recipes. And when you mention it – mashed pea ‘guacamole’ sounds like a fabulous idea! Cheers, Sunny 🙂

  3. Melanie says:

    Sunny it is so fascinating to me that we grew up on different continents but our foods were so similar. We had chopped liver regularly – either for Friday evening before the main course or Sunday lunch or at any traditional holiday. I too have veganized my own recipe and I love it far more than the yuck original recipe. It is healthy and delicious. I am keeping a note of your recipe to try.

    Thank you for the fabulous recipe and newsletter.

    • Sunny says:

      Thanks so much Melanie- would love to see your recipe also! And yes, I’m also amazed at how similar cultures can be that are located so far from one another! That is why I am fascinated with food history… so happy you enjoyed the article! Much love, Sunny xo

  4. Angela says:

    I’m going to try this for our 17.mai party here in Seattle. Thanks so much for posting! I’m at a loss of what to eat since we’ll be making our guests pølse, ice cream, bløtekake, and waffles. We’re essentially having kid food at our celebration 🙂 But, now we’ll have some open-faced plant-based sandwiches.

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