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Christmas Wellington Wreath

This is a beautiful colourful centre piece for the Christmas table. All the fillings can be made up to a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge. The wreath can be fully assembled a day in advance and stored in the fridge overnight. Simply put the wreath in the oven on the day. The wreath can also be fully assembled and frozen, then defrosted overnight in the fridge the day before baking. However the quality of the vegetables will be fresher without a freezing process.

Christmas Wellington Wreath 

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Squash and Red Pepper Filling

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped out and sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly sliced
  • Handful of sage leaves, thyme and rosemary
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

Leek Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, destalked, leaves chopped
  • 200ml white wine
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Spinach and Ricotta Filling

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 300g cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves chopped
  • 300g spinach, stalks removed, leaves chopped
  • 200g soya ricotta
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, pureed with a pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest and juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

500g puff pastry block

Glaze

  • 4 tbsp warm soya milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of saffron ground

Method

To prepare the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 180C Fan.
  2. Slice the peeled squash into half-moons 1cm thick, spread out into a large roasting pan, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, add the garlic cloves and herbs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with foil.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, then scatter the sliced red peppers onto the tray and roast for another 20 minutes until the squash is tender and the garlic is soft.
  4. While the squash and peppers are roasting, prepare the onions and leeks.
  5. In a large saucepan, fry the diced onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a gentle heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the leeks, garlic and chopped thyme leaves, stir fry on a high heat for 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for another 10 minutes until the wine has reduced down and the mixture has dried out. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. While the onion and leek are cooking, prepare the cavolo nero and spinach.
  7. Remove the stalks from the cavolo nero and chop the leaves.
  8. In a large saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and add the cavolo nero. Stir-fry for a minute to wilt down slightly, then add the spinach and continue to wilt down for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool, then squeeze dry. Place the soya ricotta into a large bowl and mash it up. Add the cooked cavolo nero and spinach, nutritional yeast, garlic puree, chilli pepper, lemon zest and juice, salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste. 

To assemble the Wellington

  1. Preheat oven to 170C Fan.
  2. Warm the soya milk with the sugar, salt and ground saffron, until the sugar and salt has dissolved, leave to one side.
  3. When you are ready to shape the wellington wreath, dust a clean surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry so that it is a 40cm square.
  4. Trim the corners off of the pastry square to create a circle 40cm diameter. Keep the trimmed pieces for later.
  5. Place the pastry circle onto a large piece of parchment and slide the parchment and pastry onto a large baking tray.
  6. Place a small plate,18cm diameter in the middle of the pastry as a guide.
  7. Lay the leek filling into a ring shape around the edge of the plate.
  8. Place large spoons of the cavolo nero, spinach and ricotta filling on top of the leek mixture and place the roasted squash and red pepper filling over the top.
  9. Remove the plate and cut a cross dividing the inner circle of pastry into 4 equal sections, then cut across these on the diagonal to create 8 triangles, radiating out from the center. Be careful not to cut through the parchment as you cut the pastry.
  10. Pull the central middle point of each of the tringles of pastry up over the filling.
  11. Scrunch the outer part of pastry up over the filling, it should reach to about half-way, slightly overlapping the tips of the triangles of pastry, but leaving some of the filling visible around the inside of the wreath. Pinch around the folded-up pastry edge, crimping the edges to make an attractive pattern. 
  12. With the reserved corner offcuts of pastry cut out 8 small stars and 16 small leaves. Decorate the top of the wreath, placing a star at the top of each triangle points and placing the leaves in pairs to look like little holly leaves.
  13. Brush the pastry with glaze.
  14. If the triangle and stars don’t stay in place use a cocktail stick to secure them during the baking process, then remove the cocktail sticks before serving.
  15. Place the wreath into the preheated oven. 
  16. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed up.

Tips

If you have leftovers, cut portion sized pieces of the cooked wreath and freeze them. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 170C Fan for 25 minutes. Eat straight away, do not keep after reheating.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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