So this is what all the build up has been about: the Big Day is finally here! It had to be nut roast on Christmas Day – what else?
Many vegetarians find this a really dull offering on the big day and a bit of a cop-out but I’m always disappointed when restaurants try to offer an imaginative alternative at this time of year. It’s about as traditional as it gets (for vegetarians) and done well, a nut roast is one of the tastiest dishes I can imagine serving up alongside my roast potatoes, parsnips and sprouts.
- 1 x onion, finely chopped
- 2 x carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 x medium parsnip, peeled and grated
- 2 x garlic cloves, crushed
- 180g vacuum packed chestnuts
- 100g red lentils
- 300ml veg stock
- Half a red pepper, diced
- 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 150g mixed nuts (I used pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts)
- 3 x eggs, beaten
- Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 x tsp oregano
- 1 x tsp paprika
Gently cook the onion and red pepper in olive oil for a few minutes until soft, then add the garlic, grated carrot and parsnip.
Add the red lentils, paprika and oregano and pour in the veg stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 20-25 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir regularly to ensure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Take off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, chopped nuts and chestnuts, parsley and eggs. Season with black pepper and spoon into a lined loaf tin. Press down firmly.
Cover with foil and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until the loaf feels firm.
Serve with vegetarian gravy and all the trimmings.
‘Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!’