Bake a satisfying vegetarian loaf with lentils, chestnut mushrooms and cheese to go with all the classic roast dinner trimmings.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
100g red lentils
2 tbsp tomato purée
300ml vegetable stock
100g fresh breadcrumbs
150g mixed nuts such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
100g mature cheddar, grated
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 sprig rosemary
- Heat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 15g butter in a large frying pan and cook 1 finely chopped large onion and 2 finely chopped celery sticks for about 5 mins until beginning to soften.
- Stir in 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 200g finely chopped chestnut mushrooms and cook for a further 10 mins.
- Stir in 1 finely diced red pepper and 1 grated carrot and cook for about 3 mins then add 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp smoked paprika and cook for just a minute.
- Add 100g red lentils and 2 tbsp tomato purée and cook for about 1 min, then add 300ml vegetable stock and simmer over a very gentle heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry. This should take about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Finally, stir in 100g fresh breadcrumbs, 150g chopped mixed nuts, 3 lightly beaten large eggs, 100g grated mature cheddar, a handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper.
- Stir to mix well then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down the surface.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 mins until firm when pressed gently.
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil very gently then add 2 finely sliced garlic cloves and 1 rosemary sprig and heat without colouring.
- Pour in 400ml passata and add a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Simmer gently for just 15 mins.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for about 10 mins then turn out onto a serving board or plate. Remove the baking paper and cut into slices and serve with a little of the tomato sauce.
- To make a vegan nut roast, use an extra tbsp of oil in place of butter, no cheese and 3 tbsp egg replacer. Bake your nut roast for 1 hour. The loaf will still be soft in the middle after cooking.
- It can be cooked in advance and then chilled, sliced and reheated to make it easier to serve.