Vegetarian Christmas – Cranberry and Pistachio Nut Roast

January 2, 2012 2 Comments

A nut roast is a rich and savoury vegetarian dish consisting of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, cashew nuts, pistachio, chestnuts, peanuts), grains, vegetables, vegetable oils, broth or butter, and seasonings formed into a firm loaf shape or long casserole dish before roasting and often eaten as an alternative to a traditional British style roast dinner. It is popular with vegetarians/vegans at Christmas, as well as part of a traditional Sunday roast. 
I made a similar nut roast (Mrs. Myrtleberry’s roast) nearly a year ago. It was love at first sight or love at first taste! 🙂 The main adjustment is to toast the nuts, which brings out a wonderful flavour. This is rich, satisfying and chockfull of protein. 
Even if you are a meat eater you need to try one of them. It is definitely a festive meal with mashed potato and salad.

Cranberry and Pistachio Nut Roast (Jamie Oliver recipe)

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

– 50 g pistachio, toasted
– 50 g almond, toasted
– 20 g dried porcini
– 100 g button mushroom, sliced
– 100 g cheddar cheese, grated (omit to make vegan nut roast)
– 100 g pearl barley
– 1 red onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 2 small celery root, peeled and finely chopped
– 300-400 ml vegetarble stock
– 1 organic/free range egg, beaten (omit to make vegan nut roast)
– 1-1 teaspoon of sage, rosemary and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
– small handful of whole wheat breadcrumbs
– 1 teaspoon chili flake
– grated zest of 1 lemon
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– sea salt
– pepper
– 150 g frozen cranberries
– 1 tablespoon brown cane sugar


In a dry non-stick pan roast pistachio and almond for 8 minutes, let cool, chop roughly and set aside. Soak the dried porcini in a little boiling water (enough to cover) for 8-10 minutes. Drain the porcini (keep the soaking water!), chop it roughly and set aside. Butter a 20-23 cm loaf tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Cook the sugar and the cranberries in a pan over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, then tip into the tin and spread evenly.
Make the risotto base first. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Add the chopped celery root and onion and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Turn up the heat and add the pearl barley. Cook for a minute or so until you hear it snap, crackle and pop, then add the porcini soaking water and stir until absorbed.
Add the drained, chopped porcini to the risotto and the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring each one in until it has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir as much as you can – this is what will make it creamy. Once the pearl barley is al dente, transfer to a bowl to cool. 
Preheat the oven to 190C (360F). In a pan fry the sliced button mushrooms in a little olive oil over medium heat for 5–8 minutes, until they are just starting to crisp. 
Once the risotto has cooled, add all other ingredients (button mushrooms, pistachio, almond, grated cheese, egg, sage, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and chili flake), season, and mix well. Pile the nut-roast mixture in the tin and pack it down with the back of a spoon. Cover it with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. Once it’s golden brown on top, remove the nut roast from the oven and leave to settle for 10 minutes. 
Use a knife to loosen the tin, then place your serving platter or board on top. Cover your hand with a tea towel and courageously flip the whole lot over, then carefully lift the tin off. 

More vegetarian Christmas recipe:
Pumpkin Pie

Comments (2)

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  1. What a scrumptious vegetarian roast and meal! It looks so scrumptious and flavorful.

    Happy New Year!



  2. That looks and sounds absolutely fantastic!! 🙂 I’ve been experimenting cooking with nuts and am having such fun. 🙂

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