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