s. I tried it many times to make sure it has the right balance of delicious texture and savoury umami flavour as well as holds together like a champ as you slice it. This is my pet peeve when making nut roasts, the forever crumbling, so I really hope that when you try this you will have the same success as I have with it in my kitchen. Because during the holidays or for a nice Sunday roast there actually isn’t much that beats a good nut roast in my book.
To be fair mine, as many other’s, is mainly made up of more other things than the nuts but they serve their purpose with that deep nutty flavour and their (slightly after baking) crunchy texture. Other than the nuts the main star of my roast are lentils that I cook with seasoning to make sure we pack as much flavour into the finished product as possible. It also packs a bunch of vegetables that make it that much more succulent and a bunch of flavouring helpers like soy sauce, balsamic vinegar (yes, trust me!) and herbs.
To go along with this vegan nut roast (with lots of other things in it to make it the deliciousness that it is) I just posted several holiday festive dishes to inspire your green Christmas dinner or Sunday roast. There’s perfectly crispy roast potatoes, maple roasted carrots with gremolata, a shaved brussel sprouts salad with a zesty orange dressing and of course the ever so appreciated vegan gravy – just can’t have a roast without gravy, am I right!? I hope you enjoy my roast as well as my other recipes this holiday season.
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and Season’s Greetings to those of you who don’t! I wish you all the best things in life and then some, thank you for brightening my life with your presence.
Lentil and Nut Roast
Makes 6-8 servings.
0,6 cup / 130 g dry beluga or puy lentils
1 tsp vegetables stock powder
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp milled flax seed
0,75 cup/150 g mixed nuts, I used cashews, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 onion (150 g), finely chopped
2 celery sticks (85 g), finely chopped
1 large carrot (100 g), grated
200 g chestnut mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce, optional (could sub marmite or vegemite)
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
0,5 tsp dried rosemary
Pinch of ground nutmeg, optional
Salt and black pepper, to taste
0, 75 cup/105 g gluten free bread crumbs (or slightly more)
To decorate, optional:
A handful vegetable crisps
A small handful roasted nuts
Fresh sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Rinse the lentils and add to a small pot along with 1 and 1/3 cup (315 ml) of water, the vegetable stock powder and the bay leaves. Stir to remove any powder lumps and then cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the water has evaporated. The beluga lentils should take about 20 minutes and the puy lentils about 25 minutes so the cook time will depend on which lentil you choose. Once the water is gone taste the lentils, they should still have a bite to them but not be hard. If they are a little hard add another few tbsp of water and let them simmer for a few minutes longer until, again, all the water is gone. Take off the heat and remove the bay leaves.
While the lentils cook prepare the other components starting with two flaxseed “eggs”. Combine the milled flaxseed with 5 tbsp water in a large mixing bowl (that you will use to combine the ingredients later) and mix well until there are no lumps. Set aside and see how the two ingredients create a gel like texture in about 15 minutes, this will work as a binder in the recipe.
Then Place your mixed nuts on an oven tray and roast in the preheated oven for up to 10 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled remove any potential loose “skin” from the nuts, especially if you used hazelnuts. Chop the nuts roughly until you have a mixture of larger and many smaller pieces, see video for reference. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm saute your onions for a few minutes until slightly translucent, season with salt. Add the remaining vegetables to the pan including the garlic. Saute for another 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and the mushrooms release their water and it’s cooked off a bit. Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce (if using it) as well as the herbs and nutmeg to the pan and mix well. Saute for a few more minutes until the liquids have melded with the vegetables and the mixture no longer appears wet.
Transfer half of the sauteed vegetables and half of the cooked lentils to the bowl with the flax “eggs”. Use a stick blender to pure it all together, it doesn’t need to be entirely smooth but well combined. Then add in the remaining vegetables and lentils along with the chopped nuts as well as bread crumbs. Season with salt and black pepper and use a wooden spoon or spatula to carefully combine everything well. If you find that the mixture appears wet (see the video for reference) add a little more bread crumbs until you reach a sticky but not wet mixture.
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper so that it covers the bottom of the pan and the long sides leaving the short ends bare (again, see video for reference). Transfer your mixture into the pan, pressing it down gently as you go to fill the pan completely. Pat down firmly on the top once all the mixture is in the tin and smooth out the surface with the back of your wooden spoon or spatula.
Bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes. The test stick should come out hot and basically dry from the center of the roast and the top should look a little dry and firm. Once you remove it set it aside to cool for roughly 15 minutes before cutting into it. You can also make this roast the day before and then reheat it when ready to serve, this allows it to solidify even better. Just be careful not to reheat for too long as it might dry it out a little.
If you wish to decorate it like me use some vegetable crisps, more roasted nuts and fresh sage leaves.
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