Christmas is fast approaching and we’ve been perfecting this nut roast recipe, which we plan to serve for lunch alongside a generous amount of mushroom gravy & all the other trimmings. We’ve followed a few nut roast recipes in recent years, with some being a total sloppy disaster and others being delicious but far too dry. So our intention was to create the ultimate nut loaf that held together, had amazing flavours & texture too. There’s a few elements to this recipe, but we promise it’s worth the effort…
Quinoa and green lentils form the base of the loaf and we love the nutty flavour the quinoa brings. Roasted chestnuts, mushrooms & onions give it a delicious and rich flavour, while the walnuts provide a great contrast in texture. We decided to add a grated parsnip into the mix, which also gives a subtle sweetness and keeps it from becoming too dry. Then there’s a final few punches of flavour from all the herbs, garlic, miso and tamari. If you want to prepare in advance, you could make this the day before you plan to eat it and then heat it in the oven before serving. It also makes amazing leftovers to make sandwiches or homemade pasties!
180g pre-roasted chestnuts
1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cup dried green lentils
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 medium onions, finely sliced
300g Mushrooms, finely chopped (We used a combination of chestnut and shiitake)
1 medium parsnip, grated (option to replace with 1 small sweet potato)
6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large sprig of rosemary (1tsp dried)
Small handful of sage leaves (aprox 15 large leaves)
3-4 large bay leaves
3 tablespoons miso paste
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper and salt to taste
1. Start by cooking the lentils and quinoa. Cook the quinoa with 1.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt until all the liquid has absorbed and the grains are just cooked. Cook the lentils in 3-4 cups of water with the bay leaves, they should take between 20-30 minutes. Turn them off and drain the water as soon as they are just cooked.
2. Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and then add the onions, rosemary and sage, cook on a low heat for around 20 minutes until the onions are soft and golden brown.
3. To the onions add the garlic, mushrooms and grated parsnip and cook down for another 10-15 minutes until starting to stick to the pan.
4. Add the miso, tamari and nutritional yeast to the pan and mix well, cook for 30 seconds more and then turn off the heat.
5. Add the chestnuts to a food processor and blend until fine. Then add the onion/mushroom mixture, half of the cooked lentils, 1/2 tsp salt, a generous few grinds of black pepper and the chia seeds. Blend until well combined and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
6. Into the mixture stir the quinoa, remaining lentils and the walnuts until well mixed.
7. Line a loaf tin and preheat your oven to gas mark 6 (200c)
8. Pack the mixture into the tin, pressing down to fit in as much as possible and minimise any air holes in the loaf.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes at gas mark 6 (200c), then remove foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before using the baking paper to lift the loaf out of the tin. The loaf will still be fairly soft and will continue to firm up the more it rests.