The showstopper nut roast everyone will love

By Corrie Heale

Impress your vegetarian relatives this Christmas with this show stopping nut roast.

Stuffed with a butternut squash, a mixture of seasonal nuts, soft goats cheese and wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves, this delicious centre piece makes a great addition to any Christmas table.

If you're looking for further tips for jazzing up your veggie Christmas meal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's online course Have A River Cottage Christmas is a great place to start!

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

Serves 6 / Hands on time 45mins / Total 1hr 45 mins /V❄*

You’ll need:

Food processor, hand blender, 2lb (21cm x 11cm) loaf tin, ice cubes and kitchen roll.

6 savoy cabbage leaves 50g unsalted butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 100g parsnip (1 medium) cubed 150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed 150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped 100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I usedMerchant Gourmet) 75g cashews, roughly chopped 50g walnuts, roughly chopped 100g brown breadcrumbs 100gvegetarian goats cheese,roughly cubed 2 Sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped 1 tsp salt

*FREEZING: The filling is suitable for home freezing. Avoid step 3 entirely and stop before the goat cheese is added (step 7). Cool the mixture fully before spooning into a plastic bag or airtight Tupperware. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Defrost fully before stirring in the cheese. Start at step 3 before jumping to step 8 of the recipe to finish.

Method

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, sweat the onions in 50g of unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, on a medium heat with the lid on. Put a filled kettle on to boil and start preparing and chopping the butternut squash and parsnip.

2. Add the butternut squash and the parsnip to the softening onions, give it a stir and replace the lid. Turn the heat down from medium to a low heat and stir occasionally.

3. Grease a loaf tin generously with butter, line with foil and grease the foil with more butter. Put to one side. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into another large saucepan and bring to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and put to one side. Remove 6 cabbage leaves from the savoy cabbage and drop them carefully into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ice-cold water bath. Put to one side.

4. Using a food processor, now is a good time to make the breadcrumbs by simply whizzing a couple of torn slices of brown bread in a blender. Put to one side. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4

5. Uncover the butternut squash and onion mixture and using a hand blender, blitz half the mixture straight in the pot. Give it a good mix and add the chopped mushrooms before stirring again and covering with the lid once more.

6. In a large dry frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, toast the cashews and the walnuts together for a few minutes moving constantly in the pan to avoid burning (you want them to get a bit of colour but not too much). Turn out onto a chopping board and using a large knife, roughly chop them along with the cooked chestnuts.

7. Take the butternut squash and mushroom mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the chopped nuts. (If you plan on freezing the mixture, cool and do so now before adding the cheese. Please see full freezing tip above).

Add the roughly chopped gooey goats cheese along with a ½ tsp of salt, a good crack of black pepper and the chopped rosemary. Give it all a good stir and put to one side.

8. remove the cabbage leaves from the water bath and blot each leaf with kitchen roll to dry it off a bit. Line the tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides. Spoon in the mixture and pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top and use any spare cabbage leaves to fill any holes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven 40 mins. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes.

9. Once cooked take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over and turn the nut roast out. Peel off any foil and cut into generous slices and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. corriesrabbitfood.com @corrieheale

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