May Contain Nuts

It has been implied and not without reason, that I tend to focus on sweet rather than savoury dishes. I can’t help it, sweet toothed doesn’t even begin to describe my obsession with the sweet and sugary. Not that I can’t appreciate savoury food, a top notch roast dinner for example, a selection of British cheeses or a good spicy curry. It’s just that I have to have redcurrant jelly with the meat, a nice bit of fruit with the cheese, mango chutney with the curry and so on. I prefer sweet wines and take sugar in my tea, it’s just the way I am.

Facebook follower and dear friend K. suggested maybe trying to post something for those (un-natural freaks) who aren’t that keen on cake!

So here goes.

This is a vegetarian dish that takes a little preparation but is super tasty. You can serve it as a main course (of course) but it also works really well as a side dish for roast chicken. I lurve it with lots of gravy, mashed potato and green peas, though I guess you could opt for a salad or a tomato sauce.

Mushroom And Herb Nut Roast

Serves 6-8   Based on a recipe in Jekka McVicars Herb book

  • olive oil
  • 150g brown or white rice
  • 275ml boiling water from the kettle
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 110g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 110g breadcrumbs
  • 175g mixed nuts (you can buy packs of mixed chopped nuts, these are ideal)
  • 3 tbsp chopped herbs eg. parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (lovage is good if you can get hold of some, but only use a teaspoon as it’s very strong)
  • sunflower seeds for decoration (optional)
  • seasoning

Start by cooking the rice in the hot water with the teaspoon of salt. Cook in a covered saucepan on a low heat until cooked through.

Meanwhile, grate the carrots, chop the veg and herbs and roughly grind the nuts in a food processor.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. add the onions, mushrooms, carrot, coriander and soy sauce and cook on a medium heat for 10 mins.

In a large bowl or in the pan if you want to save on washing up, combine the nuts, breadcrumbs, rice and herbs with the vegetable mix. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

You can cook it in a loaf tin, casserole dish or in individual ramekins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and bake in the oven at 180ºc (160 fan / gas mark 4) until well browned on top (up to 45 mins).