The words “vegetarian,” “pate” and “caviar” don’t necessarily go together, but this creamy, flavour-packed appetizer spreads like pate, and the tart bursts of pomegranate seeds are a little like caviar. This vegetarian (in fact, vegan) dish is inspired by the country of Georgia’s dish pkhali, a spinach spread that can also be made with beets or mushrooms.
Special equipment: 5-inch ramekin
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Line a 5-inch ramekin with plastic wrap, leaving at least a 2-inch overhang; smooth out the plastic in the ramekin as much as possible.
Add the spinach to the pot of water, stir to submerge and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and let cool completely. Squeeze every last drop of water out of the spinach, then finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Process the walnuts, 1/3 cup warm water, cilantro, tarragon, dill, vinegar, scallions, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, coriander and cayenne in a food processor until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise.
Add the walnut-herb mixture to the bowl with the spinach, and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon into the prepared ramekin, and pat down with the back of the spoon to compact. Cover with the plastic overhang, and refrigerate at least 4 hours up to overnight.
To serve, unwrap and invert onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts. Serve with crackers or crudites.