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.
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.
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.
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 …