I have looked hard and wide for a Vegan Roast that would be an ideal Christmas dish to proudly serve to family and friends, but my search did not bring anything suitable.
I have decided to create my own recipe, putting Deliciously Ella and Hemsley and Hemsley Nut roasts (and the rest) to proper shame.
I was supposed to adapt a complete Traditional Christmas Dinner into a Vegan feast in collaboration with a fellow cooking enthusiast, but the collaboration came to an abrupt stop when I was presented with Deliciously Ella recipe. The recipe has nothing grandiose about it (personally, quite the opposite…), and it seems it was just put together so to pretend having a Nut Roast recipe. Although, under no circumstances would I ever copy someone else work. I am a professional chef, and an original at that, and all recipes are my own - tried and tested!
Now that I have made my peace, I can share with you the hard work that came into creating such an amazing and easy-to-make recipe.
Recipe (6-8 guests)
400g Mixed Nuts, chopped
225g Green (or Puy) Lentils
2 each large Carrots
4 each Celery Sticks
1 each medium Red Onion
1 each small Sweet Potato
100g Shiitake Mushrooms (fresh)
25g Dried Porcini Mushrooms (Ceps)
25g Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Ground Cardamom
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Tomato Purée (Tomato Paste)
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
2 Soft Dried Apricots
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp Flax/Linseeds (mixed with 60ml of warm water)
2 Tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Bunch of Fresh Parsley (keep 1/3 for aside for decoration)
Pour the freshly boiled water over Flax/Linseeds (add 1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds, if you prefer to be safe), and let to rest. This will make the binding necessary to keep the roast whole.
Cook Lentils with the Sweet Potato (about 20 minutes). Half way through, drain and rinse well (optional)*, and finish the cooking process by replacing in pot with fresh boiling water. Once cooked, drain and rinse again.
Bring fresh water to boil (you can use kettle) and plunge Lentils one last time with soaked and (thoroughly) rinsed Dried Porcini Mushrooms (to clean as much of the sand residues as possible, but reserve the soaking water. Filter it and set aside), add Carrots and Celery cut into a Brunoise, to add flavour.
Once cooked (about 10 minutes), let to cool with lid on at room temperature.
During this time, gently fry spices before adding the Courgette and Aubergine, cut in Paysanne, with finely chopped Onions. Once cooked (onions should be melted and Courgette and Aubergine slightly coloured), decant in a Large bowl. In the same pan (or wok) fry the sliced Shiitake Mushrooms with whole Garlic Cloves. Decant with Courgette and Aubergine Mix.
Add the cooled Lentils, Sweet Potato and Porcini mix.
Add the Nuts, chopped Apricots, chopped Parsley, Tomato Paste and Tamari.
Bind together with the Flax/Linseeds jelly-like liquid (discard the seeds if you want but i prefer to keep them in for extra fibre), with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula, folding gently the ingredients together.
Place in a Parchment/Greaseproof paper-lined tin, brushed with melted Coconut Oil.
Bake for 1 hour 180 ̊c
Allow roast to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
Tips of the chef: Best to let it to rest overnight and re-heated gently for 20 minutes for extra flavour.
Make sure to let the roast rest a little before slicing.
* Double-boiling and rinsing of the Lentils allows for most of the removals of Lectins and Phytic Acid.
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Olivier is a Michelin-Star trained chef, also a student in Nutrition and Naturopathy, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating. He should graduate July 2016.