This nut roast recipe is a Real Home's fave as it's chock-full of texture and flavour. It just so happens to be vegan and gluten-free which makes it a great meat alternative for a Sunday roast or even Christmas dinner, but it's also a pretty nice midweek meal if you have leftovers (which is unlikely...).
You don't have to stick to the exact ingredients (to a certain extent) either; if you don't like dried raisins for example – very common issue – just add some extra nuts or more grated veggies instead. Likewise, if you're not vegan and very much a butter fiend, go wild and add a dollop to your frying pan. It's your nut roast after all, treat yourself.
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- 200g chopped nuts (pecans, brazils, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, you name it)
- 200g red lentils
- 150g cooked chestnuts
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 15g raisins (not obligatory)
- 1½ tsp dried mixed herbs (usually thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley, oregano)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp light soy sauce (make this tamari if you need this gluten free)
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 leek, trimmed and slices
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Grated rind and juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil/vegan butter if preferred
Feeds: 5–6 people
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Cook the lentils in plenty of water and with half the stock cube for 15 minutes, then drain.
3. While the lentils cook, add the oil or butter to a medium pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins.
4. Follow with the sliced leek and grated carrot, cooking the mixture down for 5–10 more minutes.
5. Add the herbs, coriander and soy sauce, lowering the heat if it starts to stick.
6. Meanwhile, dissolve the other half of the stock cube in 200ml water that's just off the boil.
7. Carefully blend the chestnuts with some of the stock to create a thick soup-like paste.
8. Add the chestnut mixture to the pan and combine on a low–medium heat.
9. Turn the heat down, add salt, pepper, the lemon juice and zest, raisins if using, then start to add the lentils, stirring well until you reach a firm consistency. Don't worry if you have some lentils leftover.
10. Use some olive oil/butter to grease a 900g/2lb, 19 x 17 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in) loaf tin, and line it with non-stick baking paper.
11. Spoon the mixture in, smooth the top down and pop it in the oven for 45–50 mins. It will be nicely browned on top.
If you find your mixture too dry, you can use more of the stock or some plant-based milk.
Amazing leftover ideas include slicing this into patties as veggie burgers and topping with vegan cheese.