I know there are a lot of Marmite-style love / hate feelings about nut roast in the vegetarian community. But so far as I’m concerned classic dishes never go out of fashion, and good nut roast is as classic as they come. For me a good nut roast has to be both firm but moist, as well as holding it’s shape and slicing nice and cleanly. This recipe (which I’ve adapted from HERE) works well on all fronts. I also like a nut roast to deliver distinctive flavours, and here I’ve included a robust trinity of fruity, herby and spicy elements in the form of cranberries, rosemary and chilli. Brought together these ingredients compliment each other very much like a perfect winter chutney against the savoury nut meat base.
As ever in the Penniless kitchen, I look to employ the most affordable ingredients available, and so the cashews I’ve used are from the generic supermarket ‘basics’ range which – at ASDA at least – come in at under half the price of the regular kind. If you don’t want the added salt, just pop them in a sieve and give a quick rinse under the tap then gently shake off the excess moisture in a clean tea towel before chopping (I don’t bother personally but I don’t mind a bit of salt). An added bonus to supermarket ‘basics’ cashews are that they come ready toasted, so there’s no need to go through that stage of preparation yourself.
Serve this nut roast thickly sliced with all your favourite trimmings.
Cashew Nut Roast with Cranberries, Red Chilli and Rosemary – vegan
- 80 g / 3 oz dried cranberries
- 80 ml / 3 fl oz hot water
- 250 g / 9 oz cashews, toasted and roughly processed
- 170 g / 6 oz breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 80 g / 3 oz flour
- 200 ml / 7 fl oz light vegetable stock (I use Marigold bouillon powder)
- 500g frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- A little soya milk to brush pastry
- Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas 5. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- Roll out 3/4 of the pastry and line the loaf tin. Trim the edges.
- Put the cranberries into a cup and add the hot water, set aside to soak.
- Mix the breadcrumbs, nuts, chilli flakes and rosemary in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large deep-sided non-stick pan (I use a casserole dish). Add the onions and saute for several minutes until tender (I put the lid on so they steam / saute).
- Take off the heat and stir in the flour. Then pour the hot stock into the pan and stir well to form a sticky paste.
- Strain the cranberries and stir them into the bowl containing the cashew and breadcrumb mixture.
- Then tip the cashew, breadcrumb and cranberry mixture into the pan. Mix well so that everything is thoroughly combined.
- Pack the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth down the top with the back of a metal spoon.
- Roll out the remaining pastry.
- Brush the edges of the pastry and add a lid to the loaf. Press down around the edge with the tines of a fork. Trim edges.
- Brush the lid with plant milk and prick lightly to release steam while cooking.
- Bake for 45 mins to an 1 hr.
- Cover the pastry with tinfoil when it gets brown to prevent burning.
- NOTE: Once baked, I prefer to leave nut loaf to sit in the tin for about half an hour before serving, as I feel it helps it to firm up for slicing.
Makes 8 thick slices