Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Arbol chili peppers can pack a lot of heat, so if you prefer, omit them from the cooking process and add a dash of cayenne pepper to the finished pâté instead.
The pâté can be made, covered and refrigerated up to two days in advance. From food writer Emily Horton.
2 tablespoons raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium (about 8 ounces total) carrots
1 dried arbol chili pepper, split in half lengthwise, seeds discarded (see note above)
1/4 cup water
One 1-inch piece ginger root, preferably young
2 teaspoons white or brown rice miso
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Soak the sunflower seeds in a small bowl with water to cover for 30 minutes; drain. Mash to a paste with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle.
While the sunflower seeds are soaking, toast the caraway seed in a small skillet over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Grind with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle; allow to cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and golden and reduced in volume by about two-thirds. Add the caraway seed, remove the skillet from the heat, cover and cool.
Peel the carrots and cut them into pieces approximately 1/2 inch by 1 inch. Transfer to a large saucepan or small Dutch oven and add 1 teaspoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the chili pepper and the water. Bring almost to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the carrots are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel the ginger root and cut it into 2 pieces. Use the flat side of a knife to mash it completely flat, then mince; alternately, grate the ginger root.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots to the bowl of a food processor (discard the chili pepper). Add the onion, ginger, sunflower seed paste, the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of oil, and the miso, and process until smooth and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the lemon juice and pulse to combine. Taste, and add salt if needed.
Per 1/4-cup serving: 110 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar