Pounding the walnuts with a mortar and pestle helps give this paté its creamy texture, but if you don’t have one, use a food processor. Serve it with seeded crackers or thin slices of rye bread. Ume plum vinegar, made from umeboshi plums, is available at Whole Foods Markets and some larger grocery stores (on the international aisle).
1 pound beets
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted until fragrant in a 350-degree oven (8-10 minutes)
11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Minced parsley, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the beets, but don’t peel them. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with the sharp tip of a knife, 45 minutes for smaller beets and up to 11/2 hours for larger ones. Unwrap. when cool enough to handle, peel them (the skin should come off easily), rinse and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, mash the garlic to a paste with the salt in a mortar and pestle.
Pound the walnuts to a paste with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle.
Coarsely chop the cooled beets and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the walnut and garlic pastes, the oil and the vinegar. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound into a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Makes 11/2 cups, 6 servings.
Per serving: 130 calories, 3 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar