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Nut Roast

by Margaret Powling-

There is nothing nicer than, on a spring or summer’s day, enjoying lunch out of doors.  We are fortunate insofar as we have some shade over our garden table, not full shade, that would be gloomy, but sufficient to make it a pleasant place to eat without being blinded by strong sunlight.

NUT ROAST

For such a meal we enjoy nut roast with various salads and new potatoes.  A nut roast is so easy to make, and I expect many of you will have your own recipe for this, but here is mine.

You will need a loaf tin, at least 500g capacity, and first I grease and line the tin with baking parchment.

INGREDIENTS

250G of Mixed Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews)

100g (or 4 small) shallots, finely chopped

400g can of chopped tomatoes, drained

3 eggs, beaten

150g strong cheese, Gruyere or mature Cheddar, grated

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage 

1/2 teaspoon dried mint, or a teaspoon mint concentrate

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 vegetable Oxo cube, or a teaspoon of bouillon, or 2 teaspoons Soy sauce 

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

This might seem rather a lot of ingredients, and only a small amount for some of them, but once you have made this recipe you will be able to adapt it to your own needs, seeing what you can omit and even what you can substitute, perhaps.  If you don’t have thyme, for example, use Oregano.

METHOD

1.  Put the nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast them gently until golden and fragrant, taking care not to burn them.  Remove to a bowl and leave to cool

2.  Whiz the nuts in a food processor or grinder until finely chopped (the mixture should be loose, not a puree)

3.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. 

4.  Grease and line the loaf tin with baking parchment

5.  Into a large bowl combine all the ingredients:  the ground nuts, chopped shallots, tomatoes, beaten eggs, grated cheese, herbs, vegetable Oxo (or the bouillon or Soy), lemon juice and seasoning.  

6.  Mix thoroughly and scoop into the prepared loaf tin.

7.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, in the centre of the oven, or until firm and golden. 

8.  Cool slightly, then turn out onto a serving plate and peel off the paper.  Nut roast can be served hot or cold.  If I am going to serve it cold, I allow it to cool in the tin for longer than if I’m serving it as a hot meal, to ensure it doesn’t fall apart. 

If serving hot, serve with a rich tomato sauce or gravy, if serving cold, serve with mixed salads and new potatoes.  Here I also served coleslaw and a Waldorf salad.

Until next time …

 

 

Margaret Powling

32 Comments

  1. Rosemary

    Sounds really delicious – will give it a try. Several of my grandchildren are vegetarians and one is a vegan so very useful to have a tried and tested recipe – thank you.

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Rosemary, and yes, it is delicious, especially if you use fresh mint. I use concentrate in the winter months, but the flavour of fresh mint really enhances the flavour of this nut roast. We are neither vegetarian or vegan but enjoy a lot of vegetarian food. I have to warn you the mixture doesn’t look all that appetizing before baking, but after, with a salad and new potatoes, it’s lovely.

      11 . Apr . 2017
  2. Eloise

    I like a nut roast but have never made my own. One of the garden centres I visit sells a nice one so I buy that. I feel inspired to make my own now and will do soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    I’m not vegetarian but eat very little meat, generally preferring fish or vegetarian food. My husband is rather more carnivorous!

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Like you, Eloise, we’re not vegetarian but we both enjoy veggie food. We both love salads and so welcome the coming of spring and summer when these are the dishes we enjoy most of all. I made tomato & courgette soup today and that was lovely with crusty rolls an a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan on the soup. As long as husband has a decent meal he doesn’t mind what it is, bless him, meat or vegetarian. The nut roast mixture looks unappetizing until it’s cooked, a load of gloop in the mixing bowl, but believe me, it’s delicious when cooked, served hot of cold.

      11 . Apr . 2017
  3. Lara

    Thank you for posting your recipe.
    After commenting on your previous post which featured this meal I ‘googled’ for recipes and was amazed by the diverse array. There was such a variety that I suspected that everyone must have their own family’s version which has been past down and adapted by each generation. One even was wrapped in cabbage leaves and then cooked. Some were quite complicated.
    I will print out your recipe and try it this weekend. With the easter holidays and family visiting, I can practice on them 😉

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I’ve never Googled nut roast and have used this recipe which I found in a cookery magazine many years ago. It is easy to make once you’ve prepared the nuts and weighted the other ingredients. But as I’ve mentioned in response to other comments, it doesn’t look appetizing until it’s cooked. But it’s a very tasty dish and also freezes well.

      11 . Apr . 2017
  4. Lara

    ps your table setting is very pretty.

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Lara. Our table is next to our summerhouse and I like to use a cloth even if in the garden, it just makes the food look better, I think, than on an old wooden table.

      11 . Apr . 2017
  5. Eloise

    Well, even cake mixture looks unappetising when it’s raw, so that wouldn’t put me off.
    My husband is also eats whatever is put in front of him (thank goodness!) but his preference is always meat or fish. Home made soup is great, especially the crusty bread part! My favourite is parsnip.
    It is very enjoyable to experiment with ingredients when cooking. I think years of cooking experience equip us with the confidence to improvise when we don’t have all the ingredients available which can make for some interesting results.

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Husband and I both enjoy fish, Eloise, and we love fish pie – which reminds me, about time I made some. I usually make three when I’m making them, and pop a couple into the freezer. I tried the Mary Berry recipe for fish pie which has leeks in it, but didn’t care for it, so back to my own recipe. We also enjoy parsnip soup. In fact, I can’t think of a soup I don’t like. Recently I’ve been making leek and potato soup but not blending it, instead eating it with the potatoes in small pieces and the leeks sliced and the flavour is more intense we have found, and yet I don’t know why. Same ingredients, but a different flavour. Yes, I love to improvise with cooking, too. Devising recipes for whatever is in the fridge and freezer, augmented with store cupboard basic items.

      11 . Apr . 2017
  6. Scarlet

    That looks delicious Margaret; thankyou for posting the recipe. I moved my mint at the allotment into an old butler sink last week and it’s growing well now, so I will use some when I make this.

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Scarlet, lovely to hear from you. Oh, lucky mint having such a great new home, an old butler sink! Mint is such a wonderful herb, but although I’ve tried various types in the garden, apple mint and others, I still only like the common garden mint.

      12 . Apr . 2017
  7. Eloise

    Oh yes, chunky leek and potato soup is MUCH nicer! Sometimes with other soups I blend three quarters of it and leave the rest in chunks.
    We like fish pie too but I don’t like my mash to be buttery so I make individual ones with buttery mash on husband’s. I buy a fresh fish mix from the supermarket. I’ll bet you can get fresher fish though!
    When last in Brixham I bought some delicious fish cakes (they were like round balls) from a stall by the harbour, and cooked them for lunch.

    11 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I don’t know how I’d never thought of not blending the leek and potato soup, Eloise. It was only after we’d had lunch with friends who gave us spiced butternut squash soup and we talked about the various soups we liked that they mentioned it and then sent me the recipe (much the same as my own, only not blended.) And yes, I also do a quick blend sometimes, leaving some chunks in the soup. I’m not keen on the mash being too-buttery, either. Indeed, if it has too much moisture in the way of butter or milk in it, it doesn’t brown as well on top. I also buy fresh fish pie mix, but before I knew they offered fish pie mix I used to buy the various fish, poach it in milk in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until it was just cooked, and then skin it and flake it. I have to say buying the fresh fish makes for a better fish pie but the fish pie mix takes a lot of the work out of it. Yes, fresh fish from Brixham is lovely and a fish shop in one of the villages we visit in the bay sells freshly-caught Brixham fish, too. Those fish cakes sounded lovely!

      12 . Apr . 2017
  8. Jo

    Do you know, I’ve never tried nut roast though I’m a huge fan of nuts. We’re big meat eaters so it isn’t something that would tempt us for an evening meal but it would probably fit the bill for a light meal.

    12 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      It really is tasty, Jo, and I don’t think you’d feel you had missed out on meat. We are not great meat eaters because I think we all must now know we must try to cut down on our intake of red meat, especially processed meat, so we’ve cut down on such things as mince, bacon and sausages (even though we’ve always bought the best quality in all three, Aberdeen Angus low-fat mince, dry cure bacon and quality sausages such as Devon Rose, and organic wherever possible.) We eat free-range chicken and fish and only have red meat, such as mince, occasionally. We seldom have beef now, or lamb, and never burgers. I know there is a lot of protein in meat, but you can bring protein into a diet in other ways. But if you’re fond of meat, make sure it’s quality stuff and cut down costs on other things. Oh dear, I must stop lecturing, not a good habit!

      12 . Apr . 2017
  9. Eloise

    Ha ha, I love your ‘lectures’, Margaret. It’s always good to communicate with interesting people and I believe we are of the same mindset in that we know the value of keeping the mind active in later years.
    Two pieces of news:
    Firstly, I have so enjoyed discovering the fun of following blogs (just two in the main – your own and Shoestring Jane’s) that I have decided it is something I want to try. I am currently working on the name. I have drawn up a longlist this morning so the first task is to reduce it to a shortlist. My husband is very good with IT packages, so I have set him the task (I did ask nicely!) of reading up on what to do. I’ve also given him a list of wants and don’t wants!
    You are also partly responsible for my second piece of news! having ‘spoken’ about Devon so much lately, I have booked a few days in Brixham in October. We’re off to the Lakes in July and have a couple of other things planned during the summer so I decided that an autumn break by the sea would be nice.
    Back to your comments above – I don’t like mince in any form but my husband does, so I make up batches of savoury mince and portion it up for use in cottage pie, chilli, bolognaise etc. A bacon sandwich is a rare treat though very much enjoyed when I do have one. As for burgers, since I don;t like quorn either, I make my own vegetarian ones from a red kidney bean base. Yes, I am a fussy eater!

    12 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      That is excellent news, Eloise, that you are going to spend time in Brixham, which is a lovely place and I hope the weather is fine for you. October is often a lovely time in Devon.
      And also excellent news that you are going to have your own blog. I also enjoy Shoestring Jane’s blog, she often has great money saving tips, and while living frugally is happy to do so. I can’t claim that we live frugally, but neither are we wasteful, and having been born at the end of WW2 and having lived through food rationing as a child (and husband was a child during WW2) we know about making do and mending, it’s second nature to us and we only buy replacements in our home when these are absolutely necessary.

      12 . Apr . 2017
  10. Marlene Stevens

    I am another who has never tried a nut roast, but it does look and sound good so I am going to take a note of the recipe. Do you know if it freezes well?

    12 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Marlene. Yes, the nut roast freezes well, provided it’s well wrapped up. I wrap it first in baking parchment and then in a freezer bag.

      12 . Apr . 2017
  11. Eloise

    I will have to be more careful if writing my own blog!
    Despite the typos above, I truly do know that new sentences begin with capital letters and that “don’t” does not contain a semi-colon!

    12 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I often make typos, Eloise, but I’m able to correct spelling errors even after I’ve published a post. Not that I always see my own errors, of course! Regarding my blog, I ‘bought’ my own website so that I’m in complete control of it. My computer guru did it all for me. This means neither myself nor the readers are plagued with pop-up adverts.

      12 . Apr . 2017
  12. Sarah

    Your tables always look so lovely. I have never tried making nut roast, I will have to try your recipe. Sarah x

    12 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Sarah. I’m surprised at how many comments my Nut Roast recipe has brought, which is lovely! We enjoy Nut Roast even, as I’ve said, we’re not vegetarian. I just hope readers of my blog post won’t be disappointed if they try it, but we love it. Thank you for saying our tables always look lovely. I haven’t bought anything special in the way of crockery for years, what we use everyday is a dinner service that I inherited from my late mother and it was 2nd hand to her. Similarly, all the table cloths belonged to my mother, or where bought 2nd hand by myself. But I just think a pretty cloth and cut glass and silver and pretty plates really enhances the food. And I’d no more think of putting a plastic box of Bertolli or coleslaw on the table than cutting a bread roll with a knife, ha ha!

      12 . Apr . 2017
  13. ratnamurti

    Margaret, I have been looking for a good nut roast recipe for some time. I only actually like British and Indian vegetarian food, and just didn’t like the recipes for American nut roasts. I do have a problem though. I am allergic to tomatoes. In a serious way. I wonder if you have any suggestions for a substitute.

    13 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Oh dear, Ratnamurti, tomatoes are quite a large part of this vegetarian nut roast and I really don’t know what you could substitute successfully. Maybe other readers of this blog post could help here? Perhaps someone who is vegetarian and can think of something else? It would have to be something which is filled with moisture otherwise the nut roast would be too dry. I’m wondering whether a can of concentrated soup might be possible in a flavour other than tomato?

      13 . Apr . 2017
  14. Lara

    What is ‘Bertolli ‘ ? For your Australian readers 😉

    Eloise – I’m delighted to read you are starting a blog, too. I enjoy reading your comments on this blog. Please be sure to tell us all the name when you start. I would like to read it. I ‘met’ Margaret through ‘How to be chic’ by Fiona Ferris . And I think I found Fiona’s blog from Daily Connoisseur’ by Jennifer L Scott. I love seeing how others live, especially in other countries he climates. Yes, I’m naturally nosey, although not in a nasty or gossipy way. I’m curious :))

    13 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      How silly of me, Lara, not to have explained. Bertolli is a trade name for an olive spread, i.e. not butter. I have never liked butter (the taste, not the consistency) and the only recipe for which I use butter is my Christmas cake.
      Yes, Lara, I am also delighted that Eloise is to start her own blog! And, as with you, I four Fiona’s blog from the Daily Connoisseur (Jennifer L Scott). And yes, I’m nosey, too, but as you say, not in a nasty or gossipy way. We just like learning about other people, their lives, their homes, their countries and their cultures.

      13 . Apr . 2017
  15. Eloise

    Dear Margaret, please excuse me using your blog to respond to other readers!
    I do so agree that it is possible to be nosy in a nice way.
    Thank you, Lara. I will certainly let you know. I think it will be a couple of weeks yet. I am the kind of person who needs to be absolutely certain that I am completely comfortable with what I’m doing before I ‘go live’!

    13 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Never worry about responding to other readers, Eloise. It’s lovely that my posts can bring about such discussions, no need to apologise at all. It will be lovely if you have your own blog and you will certainly have readers who drop by here and on Fioan’s blog, too, who will visit you, I’m sure!

      13 . Apr . 2017
  16. Eloise

    Ratnamurti, how about an equivalent amount of cooked courgette in place of tomato?

    13 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      This is so coincidental. I mentioned to husband what Ratnamurti might use instead of tomatoes and then I hit on the idea of courgettes! I think they would be a very good substitute, Eloise!

      13 . Apr . 2017

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