Vegan, Vegetarian

Walnut Roast

When I ate only vegetarian food, a good nut roast was always welcome. And I had exacting standards! My pal, Nóirín, was the first to introduce me to this fare and she set the bar mighty high. A brazil nut roast served with vegetarian gravy, roast potatoes and vegetables, it was the food of kings! Over the years, I have made many, many, nut roasts – sometimes at midnight with the gentle persuasion of alcohol and my former flatmate (ahem, Susan!)

I often cooked nut roasts for my mother. Unfortunately, while she found them tasty, she also found them very confusing. Instead of having them as a main course with vegetables, I often found her eating a slice with a good spread of fruit jam on top…

This is the first vegan nut roast I made. I usually use melted butter to bind it all together. I changed things around and this turned out as a very tasty alternative. I served it with some ratatouille and new potatoes steamed in their skins.

7 ounces Walnuts
7 ounces, wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons, dried parsley
2 teaspoons, dried mixed herbs
5 ounces mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
3 tablespoons, olive oil
Sunflower oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 180C degrees
2. Lightly grease a loaf tin with a little sunflower oil
3. Line the body of the tin with enough parchment that it can also fold over the top of the mixture
4. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for about 8 minutes
5. Place the breadcrumbs and herbs in a bowl
6. Grind the roasted walnuts in a blender until they are broken up but not powder
7. Add to the breadcrumb mix
8. Using the blender again, mince the onions and mushrooms together until it is nearly paste-like
9. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan
10. Add the onion and mushroom mix and cook gently for about 5 minutes until the juices flow out
11. Add this to the dry ingredients
12. Season well with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly
13. Turn into the loaf tin and push the mix into the tin so it is evenly distributed
14. Fold the parchment over the top and seal with some tinfoil
15. Bake for 20-25 minutes
16. Remove the tinfoil and bake for another 10 minutes
17. Cut into slices and serve hot or cold


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