Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sunday (Nut) Roast

My sister waxes poetic about the Sunday Roast at their local pub in England. Apparently everyone has their Sunday Roast-at the pub or at home. She said the pubs even do a vegetarian roast. This had me intrigued...a vegetarian roast! Sounds like great winter comfort food.

I researched recipes and decided that none of them were perfect. I tweaked several recipes to come up with this one. It was spot-on the first time around. It would be a wonderful meal for the vegetarians in your life but even my carnivore husband asked for seconds of this one and gave it a glowing review. My daughter asked for the slice to be cut into "fingers" and dipped them into ketchup, but the adults had it proper British style- with garlic mashed potatoes, veg and gravy.

I think this would be a wonderful addition to our special family dinners alongside the mandatory bird. Or simply sliced and sandwiched in bread the next day.

Michelle's Nut Roast

I used a combination of almonds and cashews as that is what I had on hand- use what you have and I'm sure it will be delicious! You can use raw or roasted and salted nuts, but reduce the salt if you are using salted nuts. It looks like a lot of work, but it really isn't if you have a food processor or chopper. If you don't have one, just dice the veggies a little smaller and you should achieve similar results. .

3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cut sage or sage leaf
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 medium tomato, chopped
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 cup grated mozzarella or dairy-free cheese
2 eggs or egg replacer
2 tbsp ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Process nuts in food processor or chopper until it resembles coarse sand. Remove to large bowl. 3. Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and softened- about 5-10 minutes.
4. Add thyme and sage and cook for another minute. Add tomato, salt and pepper.
5. Process contents of frypan in food processor until it comes together but is not completely smooth.
6. Add vegetable mixture to nuts and add parsley, cheese, bread crumbs, eggs and ketchup.
7. Lightly press the mixture into a buttered loaf pan.
8. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Put under broiler for last 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, run knife around outside of pan and firmly tap it out onto cutting board.

Basic Vegetarian Gravy
This is a very basic recipe and is way better than any packaged mix you can buy. You can add a touch of soy sauce or other herbs for more flavour.

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp unbleached flour
1/8 tsp cut sage
1 cup vegetable broth

1. Heat butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until changes to a rich brown colour.
2. Add broth and continue to whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.