Crostini

Tuscan Liver Pâté

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Some say that this is the original, 15th-century recipe for pâté from the Medici kitchens, and that it was then exported to France along with various other classic recipes, such as onion soup and ice cream. It is a delicious way to sharpen the appetite at the start of a meal. In Tuscany the word crostini traditionally refers to this pâté, as opposed to toasted bread with various toppings, which is what the word has come to mean in more recent times.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 g/1 ½ oz unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 chicken liver, trimmed
  • 115 g/4 oz calf’s liver, trimmed
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 25 ml/1 ½ tbsp tomato paste, diluted in 60 ml/4 tbsp hot water or stock
  • 25 g/1 oz salted capers, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 4 large or 8 small thin slices crusty white or brown bread
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Put the olive oil and half the butter in a large pan and fry the vegetables over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Add the parsley, and the chicken and calf’s livers. Stir well and add the dry white wine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then add the diluted tomato paste.

  3. Season to taste, then add 30 ml/2 tbsp water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the livers are cooked.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, lift the livers out of the sauce and chop finely or process them in a food processor or blender until quite smooth.

  5. Return the semi-pureed livers to the pan. Stir in the remaining butter and the capers. Heat through and remove from the heat, but keep warm.

  6. Spread the bread generously with the liver topping and serve.

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