Project Description

This makes a lovely main course for Christmas dinner. To make it vegan use 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked for 15 minutes in 6 tbsp water until thick and gloopy and glaze the pastry with soya milk.

1 packet puff pastry, thawed as per instructions on packet
100g hazelnuts
100g wholegrain bread
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 red pepper, cut into small pieces
50g baby spinach, finely shredded
2 tbsp dried cranberries, roughly chopped
6 dried apricots, finely chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
2 tbsp tamari soya sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to gas 5 or 190C
Oil a flat baking tray

Fry the onion and celery with the thyme and sage for a few minutes in 2 tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
In your food processor process the nuts and bread until crumbed and add to a large bowl.
Stir in the shredded spinach, red pepper, cranberries and apricots and onion mixture.
Stir in the eggs, leave a tsp for brushing the pastry, the remaining 2 tbsp oil and the tamari and the salt and pepper.
Unwrap the pastry and cut off about ¼ as you wont need it all – use this piece for somethng else if you like.
Lightly flour your surface and roll the piece into a large rectangle, just a bit smaller than your baking sheet.
Wet the edges with water.
Spoon the nut roast mixture onto one half nearly to the edges.
Bring over the other half and drape over the mixture, pressing down the edges.
Pick up carefully and place on a oiled baking sheet. I turned it over so the seam side is at the bottom so the top is smooth.
Cut through the top of the pastry carefully to make 10 slits.
Brush over with the tsp of beaten egg with a drop of milk in it with your fingers or a brush.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until nicely browned.

Mushroom and red onion herb gravy

Approx 8 mushrooms, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
400g hot water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan with a lid.
Fry the mushrooms and onion for a few seconds then add the garlic and herbs.
Turn down the heat and put the lid on and sauté for a few minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds.
Mix the tamari and vegetable bouillon into the hot water and gradually mix in to the flour mix., stirring all the time.
Allow to cook for 10 minutes on a very low heat and then liquidise with a hand held blender.
Add more water if it is too thick. (tends to get thicker once it is standing)
Season and serve with the festive nut roast Wellington.