Knock-out nut roast
December 14, 2013 3:04 PM   Subscribe

We're having a vegetarian Christmas. I love a good nut roast. There's only going to be three of us, and no one to freak out over vegetarian clichés. So I'm looking for a scene stealing nut roast recipe to be the main attraction.

I want layers, I want colours, I want fancy garnishes and flavour explosions. I want to take all those 1970's vegetarian cook books and laugh in their smug, wholesome faces.

I don't want dry stuffing in a loaf tin.

I don't care if it needs a couple of days to prepare. I'm going back to the shire next weekend and there will be very little to do apart from cooking and eating.

My mum would like it to involve chestnuts as she's got a box of them in the cupboard.

The rest of the meal will be all typical British Christmas lunch trimmings, two types of spuds, roast parsnips, Yorkshires, sprouts, boiled carrots, two types of cabbage, peas, bread sauce, stuffing, and gravy, so much gravy.

No celery (yuk!), no hazelnuts (I like breathing). But I am not afraid of substitutions if your favourite recipe fails on those criteria.

So tell me your knock-out nut roast recipes!
posted by Helga-woo to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
This recipe (in the form of a video) looks pretty good.
posted by candasartan at 3:20 PM on December 14, 2013

I just had this Roasted Butternut, Almond & Pecan Nut Roast from M&S which was yum. Depending on your cooking skills maybe you could adapt a recipe with these ingredients? Alternatively, River Cottage has a recipe for a Butternut Squash and Cashew nut roast.
posted by billiebee at 3:36 PM on December 14, 2013

Felicity Clarke at the Guardian UK has tested a number of nut loaves and combined her favourite elements of each to make The Perfect One. (It does look very good.)
For this nut roast, I've taken my favourite elements from each roast – sweet, seasonal parsnips, chestnuts and savoury mushrooms – and sprinkled over a few festive ideas of my own. And, at an early Christmas dinner of omnivores, this disappeared even faster than the pigs in blankets – high praise indeed.
She uses hazelnuts but you can swap those out for another nut you're not allergic to.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:42 PM on December 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

Hello! I'm pretty new to veggie cookery, but this recipe has stolen the show. Even meat eaters have been impressed!

Have some auditions in the next few days, good luck!
posted by welovelife at 4:14 PM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

I am waiting for the holidays to make this Glazed Maple Walnut Loaf.

I did make this Seitan Loaf for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! I've made it a few times since.
posted by mamabear at 4:44 PM on December 14, 2013

Not a loaf per se, but the caramelized onion-butternut squash roast with chestnuts from the Veganomicon is very, very tasty, and festive!
posted by eviemath at 8:25 PM on December 14, 2013

I made the Felicity Cloake recipe hurdy gurdy girl mentions two years ago - it was delicious, but came out quite a lot wetter and sloppier than I'd expected. I'd use some chestnut puree as well as whole/chopped chestnuts to bulk it out/keep it together a bit more, plus maybe amp up the breadcrumbs and consider a few spoons of one of the more neutral-tasting nut butters (my preference would be cashew, but only because I hate peanut butter) to help it maintain density/shape. The cabbage leaves she uses seemed to add to the dampness problem, so it might be worth lightly frying them and then blotting off the oil, or still blanching them but making sure you do a better job than I did of drying them before lining the tin. If you're very concerned about it being too wet and losing its integrity, cream cheese along with the stilton might also help bind, and you could roast the mushrooms and then food process them rather than cooking them in a pan so that they dry out more.

But if you don't mind the risk that you'll have to serve with a spoon rather than in slices, just do what Felicity says - I served this to eight people as a main dish, most of whom weren't vegetarian, and it went down really well.
posted by terretu at 1:27 AM on December 15, 2013

Not home-made but I am a fan of the Tofurky, more for the slightly loopy fun of the concept than anything else (Tofu Jerky wishbone?!) Some people find them a bit too salty, so it might be worth getting one to try first - they do a smaller roast that doesn't include all the extras which might work well for this. Makes nice sandwiches the next day as well.

But then, I like to cook too, and was looking at the Guardian recipe above. But not keen on the cabbage leaf wrapping - a bit joyless? I was thinking of using ribbons of butternut squash to wrap it, in what could be an appealing barley-sugar twist pattern, instead. Perhaps top it with a line of sweet and salted pecans? I'd also leave some chestnuts whole, for texture, and I think it could really use some colour too. Maybe putting it together as a roulade with spinach leaves? Adding some chopped spring onions? Using the stilton in the middle to make a gooey melty centre?
posted by tardigrade at 10:55 AM on December 15, 2013

Another vote for Felicity Cloake's recipe - I have had it the last two Christmases.
posted by Carravanquelo at 12:27 PM on December 15, 2013

The nut roast I made yesterday was a brilliant success (in my opinion). It was nothing outstandingly different from the usual fare, I suppose, but my boyfriend who survived the 70s and has eaten more nut roast than anyone else I know thought it was pretty good.

This is a consensus recipe gleaned from the internet:

~300g mixed nuts and seeds (we used almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), gently toasted in a dry pan until the seeds are browned
1 carrot
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 heaped tsp sage
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp marmite or yeast extract
1 tsp Henderson's relish or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
100g grated or crumbled cheese (strong cheddar and feta work well)
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Stick everything in a blender, then pat gently into a buttered dish and put in the oven for about an hour.
posted by teraspawn at 8:38 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I should add: we were going to include chestnuts in the recipe but we ate them all before we started cooking. So there's that.
posted by teraspawn at 8:39 AM on December 16, 2013

We've decided on the Felicity Cloake recipe too. It was a close race with mamabear's suggestion, because oh my, that glaze looks amazing. But apple butter isn't easy to get hold of this side of the Atlantic, and mum has a blackcurrant and cranberry sauce recipe she's been wanting make.

It's currently chilling in the fridge overnight, prior to cooking it tomorrow. I added a dollop of cashew nut butter, and cooked those mushrooms within an inch of their lives to cut down on the moisture. And since three types of cabbage in one meal is reaching the cabbage event horizon, even for the family-woo, we have lined it with thin slices of roasted courgette (zucchini), in a herringbone weave. I was going to put a line of cranberries along the bottom first, to get the whole red, white and green Christmas colour scheme going on, but I forgot.

Will let you know how it goes!
posted by Helga-woo at 1:19 PM on December 24, 2013

Oh and thanks to this thread, I have learnt that tofurky is actually a real thing, and not a running joke in every American sitcom ever.

Also, we made something similar to welovelive's recipe last year, when there were omnivores to freak out, called it a mushroom wellington, and everyone was happy.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:30 PM on December 24, 2013

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