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This week, another almond pate variation. This one packed with garlic, lemon, and white wine. Like its sweet counterpart in that post, this one's thoroughly addictive smeared on crackers or muffins, which is just how both were served at the 2015 Big Ears Brunch. (Which I had intended to blog about, but, for reasons not worth typing out, had to toss the idea of documenting with any care. Which is a shame because it featured some totally fabulous beet-lentil sliders made by a generous pal.)

So not only does the molded pate work as a star on a table of munchies, it can also do heavy lifting in a supporting role for a main dish. It works on sandwiches and begs to be crumbled into a salad. If you're in the mood to gild a lily, there should be no reason you can't knead crumbles into biscuit dough before baking.

For a simple way to really highlight this luscious spread, serve it on a bagel or as a tartine topped with herbs and veg for an any-day lunch worth lingering over.

Or expand that idea just slightly for something you can serve to guests by whipping up a tart crust and spreading the pate down before topping with herbs and any lovely thing you can grab—sauteed mushrooms, grilled asparagus or broccolini, or oven-dried tomatoes. Bake it off, pour some wine, and you're entertaining with ease.

Similarly, it makes great pizza.

It's fabulous to be able to mold the pate and serve it on a plate, but the good news is, if you don't need the firmer texture or an impressive presentation, you can skip chilling the pate before baking. That means no planning ahead. Blend, spoon into a ramekin, bake, and it's ready to go.

That works particularly well for this greens pie. Mixing the softer pate fresh from the oven into a mix of baby spinach and baby arugula allows the heat from the spread to wilt the greens just a bit before spreading the whole gorgeous shebang on pizza dough.

If green things on pizza don't work in your house, rest assured that topping a generous layer of pate (about a quarter-batch per 10-inch pie) with canned fire-roasted tomatoes and herbs makes a beautifully rich, salty, satisfying pie. And just imagine what substituting fresh tomatoes will do for the whole thing this summer.

Garlic-White Wine Almond Pate

Print the recipe

adapted from here (post includes credit links)

150g blanched almond meal

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup water

3 TBSP sunflower (or olive, or canola) oil

2 large (or 3 small-medium) cloves garlic

3/4 tsp fine sea or kosher salt

Heat oven to 350.

Blend all ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth.

For a softer spread, divide evenly between two 10-oz ramekins. Bake 40 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on top. The spread can be used immediately as a pizza or tart base before baking, or let cool before serving on a tartine or crackers.

Alternately, to mold, line two 10-oz ramekins with a double layer of cheesecloth. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins, fold cheesecloth over, and chill for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. (In a pinch, chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.) Use the cheesecloth to lift the pate from the ramekins, carefully transfer to an oiled baking sheet (without cheesecloth), and bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Let cool thoroughly before serving.