Here’s an easy nut roast recipe suitable for everyday use or Christmas festivities.
In my family we have a long tradition of making nut roast at Christmas time. It’s a recipe that’s very popular with the vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Because we make it at the same time as making stuffing, it’s quite easy to do without much additional effort.
This nut roast recipe is easy enough to use as part of your usual repertoire of dishes. For everyday use you can be a little more frugal with the nuts and seeds perhaps.
In my view, nut and seed cookery is something that most of us could do more of with benefit. The natural oils found in nuts and seeds tend to be highly beneficial and they are good source of protein, too.
Bread, nuts, carrots, onions and fat (usually margarine or butter), herbs, garlic, and seasoning are the main ingredients for this nut roast recipe. You can also use some seeds, if you want.
Here are some suggested quantities
½ loaf of bread (400gm)
100 gm margarine or butter (you can use less)
2 carrots ( 3 - 4 ozs/ 100 gm)
3 cloves of garlic (optional)
100 gm mixed shelled nuts
1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs
For a Christmas version, reduce the amount of bread, fat and vegetables and use more nuts.
Suitable herbs include parsley, thyme and rosemary. Oregano or marjoram also work well. Be a little sparing with rosemary as the flavour can be quite strong.
Almost any nuts will work fine. We tend to use hazelnuts and pre-cook them under the grill for a few minutes to enhance the flavour. Chestnuts are also a good addition and you can also include seeds such as pumpkin seed or sesame if you want.
Prepare the bread by either grating it or whizzing it in a food processor. Wholemeal or granary is the best choice. You can use slightly stale bread if you want – dry bread is easier to grate.
Prepare the nuts by either chopping into small pieces with a sharp knife, or by whizzing them in the food processor.
Grate the carrots and add them to the mix.
Chop the herbs and garlic.
Mix everything together well and add the margarine or butter. Combine well. The amount of fat used should be just enough to make the mixture stick together.
Pile the nut roast mixture into an oven-proof dish. Don't pack it in - press down lightly for best results.
Roast the nut mixture in the oven until crisp on the outside and cooked inside. This will take around 40 minutes in a medium oven.
Serve with steamed or roasted vegetables, crisp salad, chutneys roast potatoes and anything else you like.
Picture above: nut roast with baked potatoes
This roast nut recipe can be varied to suit your needs. For example oats or oatmeal. can be added to the mix. You could try a little fried seaweed or fried cabbage as an ingredient to give a different flavour. Celery works well in small quantities, well-chopped.
Where to buy nuts?
If you want good quality organic nuts, most health food shops should be able to supply you.
Some food co-ops also buy organic nuts in big quantities and retail them relatively cheaply.
Amazon also sells a selection of organic nuts.
Wherever you buy your nuts, look for quality and freshness.
Old nuts can become quite rancid as the oils they contain gradually oxidise over time. This makes a considerable difference to their taste and nutritional value. This is one case where I would opt for non-organic fresh produce over organic, if the freshness was not so good. Big outlets (such as Julian Graves in the UK) have a fast turnover so nuts bought there are likely to be quite fresh.