The traditional Winter nut roast gets a face lift to become a true centre piece of the dinner table. Of course, it’s the perfect roast dinner, but I enjoy the warmed-up leftovers with houmous and salad.
Get ahead by cooking the quinoa and sweet potatoes before-hand – think about putting the potatoes in the oven the day before whilst you’re cooking something else.
Makes 12 squares
450g approx./2 medium sweet potato (raw weight)
60g quinoa (dried weight)
1 tbsp olive oil plus a drizzle extra
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
250g approx./2 medium raw beetroot, peeled
250g approx./3 small parsnips, peeled
250g approx./2 large carrots, peeled
75g hazelnuts*, toasted
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1.5 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped or 1.5 tsp dried sage
1 orange, zested
Sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and bake in their skins until soft (around 45 minutes). Leave to cool.
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve until the water runs clear and cook according to the packet instructions. Leave to cool.
- In a frying pan, heat 1/2 tbsp oil over a low heat and sweat off the onion. Once translucent, turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and garlic with some pepper. Cook until the water that releases from the mushrooms has evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
- Using the mandolin slicer on your box grater or your peeler, take some shavings from each of the vegetables (about 15 of each vegetable). Put the shavings in bowls of iced cold water, keeping the beetroot separate from the other vegetables. Set aside.
- Grate the rest of the vegetables and sweat off in the frying pan with 1/2 tbsp oil and some salt and pepper. Keep the pan on a low heat as you do this to allow the moisture to release and evaporate, stirring regularly. The vegetables start to stick to the pan when they’re ready, takes around 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Roughly chop (or bash in a pestle and mortar) the toasted hazelnuts and set a small handful hazelnuts set aside for later. The rest go in the bowl with the mushroom mixture.
- Add the nutritional yeast, sage and 2/3 of the orange zest to the bowl.
- Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potato into a bowl and mash before adding to the mushroom mixture.
- Tip the cooked quinoa and vegetables to the bowl and mix well to combine all the ingredients and for it all to start to come together.
- You could fry off a small patty of the mixture at this point to taste it and check your seasoning.
- Line a baking tray (26x20cm) with greaseproof paper. Tip in the mixture, press it well into the tin and smooth off the top.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then using a chopping board to help, carefully flip the nut roast and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to set in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary from the stalk and finely chop. Mix with a small pinch of salt.
- Dry off the vegetable shavings in a clean tea towel. Place on a baking tray without any overlapping. Brush each one with a tiny bit of oil and sprinkle over the rosemary salt.
- Bake in the oven until crisp. This takes around 20 minutes but keep an eye on them because they can soon burn!
- Remove the nut roast from the tin and transfer to a serving plate or board. Cut into squares and scatter over the vegetable crisps, pumpkin seeds, remaining chopped hazelnuts and orange zest.
*I like to buy whole hazelnuts to toast and chop myself as they have a better flavour and I like the uneven pieces you get this way, but you could of course save time and buy chopped hazelnuts. You could also use mixed chopped nuts, if you prefer.