This is simple nut roast - you can vary the nuts, depending on what you have in your cupboard. For more of a challenge add the heritage carrots to the middle to make a stunning looking roast as you cut it open to reveal the carrots.
Beetroot Nut Roast
Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free option
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour
- 3 medium red beetroots, whole, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and diced
- 300g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped in a food processor
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 3 tbsp shoyu or 1 ½ tbsp tamari for gluten free
- 100g dried breadcrumbs - panko (or dried gluten-free breadcrumbs)
- 250g mixed nuts such as almonds, walnuts and cashews
- 50g fresh parsley, leaves taken of and chopped
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
The seed crust
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 75g sunflower seeds
- 30g sesame seeds
- 50g flax seeds
- 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C Fan.
- Wrap the whole beetroots in foil and roast for 1 hour or until soft. Leave to cool before peeling.
- While the beetroot are cooking, prepare the rest of the mixture and if using the carrots, prepare them and roast them at the same time (see separate instructions).
For the beetroot mixture:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a frying pan on a low to medium heat, and fry the onions for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the chopped mushrooms to the onions along with the chopped garlic, chopped thyme, rosemary and sage leaves, fry for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through and their juices are released. Add the shoyu or tamari if gluten free.
- Roast the mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)in the preheated oven on a baking tray for 10 minutes until pale gold in colour. Chop the nuts in a food processor until they resemble large breadcrumbs.
- When the beetroots have finished roasting and have cooled slightly, peel them and grate them on the larger sized grater. Add the grated beetroot to the mushroom mixture and cook for a few more minutes to make sure the mixture is not too wet. Remove from the heat.
- Mix the chopped nuts, dried breadcrumbs and chopped parsley into the beetroot mixture.
- Taste and add a little more shoyu or tamari if necessary, then the freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Mix in the gram/chickpea flour. The mixture should be moist but hold together.
- Follow the instructions below for assembling the nut roast and for a simple beetroot version leave out the carrots.
For adding the carrot layer
- 4-5 medium orange carrots (approx. 300g)
- 10 sprigs of thyme
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Preheat the oven to 180C Fan.
- Keep the carrots, whole and unpeeled, just give them a good scrub with a vegetable brush.
- Place the carrots with the thyme, salt and pepper, water, white wine and rapeseed oil into a large piece of baking parchment.
- Fold the parchment up to cover the carrots tightly, making sure they are sealed in.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until tender.
- When cool, open up the parchment, take out the carrots.
- Store in the fridge until ready to assemble the nut roast.
To assemble the nut roast with carrot layer
- Line a 900g (2lb)loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Make the seed crust by mixing the seeds and nuts together.
- Scatter half of the seed crust over the bottom of the tin.
- Press half of the beetroot mixture into the tin and spread into the corners, making it flat and even.
- Lay the carrots running lengthwise down the tin, in a single layer, placing the carrots alternately head to tail to fill all the gaps and cover the beetroot mixture evenly.
- Press the remaining beetroot mixture over the top, press down gently and cover with the remaining seed crust mixture, press them into the top gently and spray thoroughly with about 2 tablespoons of water.
- Bake for 1 hour until set and firm to the touch.
The nut loaf can be made up to a day or two in advance and keep in the fridge until ready to bake off.
You can bake the nut roast without the carrot layer, simply follow the instructions for the seed crust and fill the beetroot mixture into the loaf tin without layering in the carrots, bake as per the instructions.
The beetroot mixture can be frozen well in advance. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight, then shape into the tin and bake as per instructions. However we don’t recommend freezing with the carrots as they won’t be as firm after freezing, instead the beetroot mixture can be frozen separately and the carrots can be cooked a day or two in advance, then the nut roast assembled and baked on the day.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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