Saturday, 6 January 2018


We loved our nut roast when we made it a couple of Christmases ago but then we neglected it! This year however we resurrected this old favorite and it was still as good as we remembered. So much better than a shop bought nut roast, this mixture of herb and garlic mushrooms and nuts is bound together with rice and cottage cheese to make a beautifully plump and moist roast that is perfect not just for Christmas but for the whole year. It’s even got a good glug of wine in it for good luck. Who could resist that?

For an extra piece of Christmas specialness I use porcini and chestnut mushrooms in this nut roast as they add that extra level of earthy rustic mushroomy goodness to the loaf. You can use any mushrooms you like though so throw in whatever you prefer or can get your hands on.

The dried herbs are all green and earthy. That's the kind of vibe you want to compliment the garlic mushroom base of the loaf. If you are doing this spare of the moment and don't have all of them don't worry and just use what you have in your cupboard and taste until you have a herby mix that you think is yumtastic.

The normal cooking rules apply when it comes to the wine. Only use a wine that you would be happy to drink. Rice? A long grain or a basmati works the best. Cook it up first and then drain and leave to cool ready to mix into the loaf when needed.

Your nuts and cheese can be swapped to your personal preference too. Almonds, walnuts and pine nuts can all be chucked in too as long as the total weight of all your nuts is 350g. The whole pecans do look pretty on the top though! Don't swap out the cottage cheese as it really helps keep the loaf nice and moist. Trust me when I say you really can't taste it so if you’re not a fan do not worry. Your secondary cheese is the one that adds the cheese flavor so choose something punchy like a Cheddar like I have. Parmesan would work, maybe a feta but stay well clear of things like mozzarella as it will make the loaf too stringy and gloopy.

Finally for the fresh herbs, you want to compliment the dried herbs in the loaf so match your fresh and dried. Keep some pretty looking sprigs and leaves to decorate the top and make your loaf a true spectacle on the dinner table.

Right I think that's enough chat, let's get cracking with the recipe.

Our Perfect Nut Roast

1 Small Diced Red Onion
25g Dried Porcini (Soaked Prior To Use)
150g Chopped Chestnut Mushrooms
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tsp Dried Marjoram 
1 Tsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Dried Tarragon 
1 Tsp Dried Sage
Good Glug Of Red Wine
150g Pecans
150g Cashews
150g Cooked And Cooled Rice
5 Whole Eggs
250g Cottage Cheese
180g Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 Handfulls Of Chopped Fresh Herbs
Salt And Pepper To Season

  1. Ovens on! 200 degrees (180 fan).
  2. Add the onions into a large oiled pan and fry until they begin to soften before adding in both types of mushroom and the garlic until the chestnut mushrooms begin to soften.
  3. Add in all the dried green herbs and keep frying for 1 minute before adding in the wine. Just a bit, enough to flavor everything. It should all burn away after a couple of minutes of frying. If you still have liquid in the pan after around five minutes drain it off as you have added too much. Remove from the heat and cool.
  4. Pulse the nuts in a food processor (keep some nice whole ones for decoration). You want an array of textures so don't whizz them all up to dust. Throw them into a big bowl with the rice and mix together.
  5. Beat the eggs and cheeses together in a bowl and then throw it in with the nutty rice followed by the mushroom/onion mix and finally the fresh herbs (keep some fresh herbs for decoration). Season and give everything a good old mix until well combined.
  6. Line a loaf tin big enough to hold everything with grease proof paper and pack in the nut loaf mix. Squash it right down to pack the loaf in so that it holds together well.
  7. Decorate the top of the loaf with whole nuts and herbs and then bake for approximately an hour until the top is firm and brown. Check after half an hour and if the decoration on top is starting to brown too quickly, cover with foil and continue to bake. 
Remove from the oven and leave to stand in the tin for at least 10 minutes to let the loaf firm up so you can easily slice a big massive slab off to serve. Serve it as is or slather it in oodles of piping hot onion gravy. You can even freeze the loaf in the tin after cooking if you want to make it in advance. Let it cool fully and then wrap in film before popping into the freezer. There are no more excuses now for serving up a dodgy veggie roast dinner. This is a nut loaf that to be honest, I would rather eat than some of the dodgy roasts I've had over the years! That is what makes this nut roast so perfect!

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious & sounds like it's packed with flavour.