from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

(Disclaimer: I wavered about whether or not I should post this recipe…in mid-July…with so many fresh vegetables clamoring for our attention, but having recently made it myself, it is a perfect add to a table full of fresh, light, summer produce, and as my fellow apprentice, Melissa, pointed out, “its the ultimate picnic food!”. Ain’t that the truth.  So mix up a batch yourself, eat it with a dressed bed of asian greens, fresh herbs, some sauteed fennel, and try to tell me it’s not a summer recipe.)

A staple  in healthy diets around the world, liver is like nature’s multi-vitamin.  For those who were traumatized by chopped liver dishes back in the day, Pâté might just be your ticket to actually enjoying this awesome (and inexpensive) nutritional powerhouse.  With butter, wine, and herbs playing strong flavor roles, any acridity typically attributed to liver just melts away, leaving an incredibly rich and nutrient-dense treat that ought to be destined for far more than just cracker-topping.  Here at the farm, we enjoy a hearty slice alongside a salad, a smear in a sandwich, and honestly, with a spoon.  It also freezes perfectly.

Backtracking to the health benefits for just a minute, liver represents a complete protein source, has no carbohydrates to speak of, is jam-packed of various vitamins and minerals, many rarely found elsewhere.  Of course, coming from a pasture-raised animal, any cut of meat also contains a spectrum of very healthy fats, which help to make all of those vitamins and minerals as bio-available as it gets.  You’ll probably be able to feel the difference.

As noted above, this recipe comes from Nourishing Traditions, an incredible resource on traditional diets and the implications they bear for human health and resilience.  See Melissa’s account of her time at the author’s seminar in Burlington and Shelburne this past June for an intro to the wisdom of traditional diets, and how they have informed her personal road to health.

Anyways, lets get to cookin’!

Any liver will do, the classic variety most often seen in stores is chicken or duck liver pâté, but I’ve made turkey, beef, and goat varieties too, and they’ve all tasted the same (I’ll bet you a batch of pâté that pork livers would be just as great too).  While we’re talking substitutions here, I’ll also mention that I’ve subbed in red wine many-a-times–the flavor is slightly different, but still absolutely delicious and classic–I say go for it if you don’t have white on hand. Lastly, this recipe calls for a few pinches of dried herbs, but with the abundance of fresh herbs at the farm, I’ve been throwing them in left and right, and the pâté is all the better for it. This is quite a flexible recipe.


3 Tbsp butter

1 lb. liver

1 handful spring onions, bulbs and green tops, chopped

2/3 cup white wine or vermouth

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 t dry mustard

1/4 t dried rosemary

1/4 t dried dill

1 Tbsp lemon juice

4 Tbsp butter, softened

salt and pepper to taste

cracked pepper and dicedspring onion greens for garnish




Lauren making Pate

Heat first knob of butter on medium-low heat.  Add liver and onions, cook until a faint pink remains in the middle of the liver, about 10 minutes.

Add wine, garlic, herbs,  lemon juice, salt and pepper, cook until liquid is almost gone.

Let cool, then process with remaining 4 Tbsp of butter in a blender or food processor until desired consistency is achieved.  Salt more if needed.