For many people, Christmas dinner is all about the roast turkey complete with the trimmings, but if you are a vegetarian you can get a little bit left out come Christmas time and Jamie Oliver has said that he wants to send a bit of love your way with some great recipes, especially for those who do not want to eat meat.
Christmas dinner is surely one of the most eagerly awaited meals of the year, so every single person around that Christmas table should be tucking into a fantastic meal, whether they’re a meat eater or not.
With this in mind, Jamie Oliver asked his super chum and food stylist Anna Jones to help him come up with some brilliant meat-free ideas, and he reckons she’s done him proud.
Now vegetarians of old may remember the traditional nut roast, that thing of dubious provenance that tasted of cardboard and had the texture of soggy paper.
Not any more; Anna has taken on the challenge of creating the ultimate nut roast, and with her recipe in hand, there’s no excuse for any more old shrivelled offerings appearing this year.
The base of the roast is inspired by a creamy and flavour some mushroom risotto, and Anna’s whacked a layer of gorgeous juicy cranberries on top for an extra festive flavour boost. And naughty Jamie says that even though this is an article for veggies, he reckons that a slice of turkey goes well with this nut roast as well as serving it on its’ own! It really is that good.
He and Anna have also got a wonderful salad that makes the most of seasonal quince, paired with a wickedly delicious toffee-apple dressing. It tastes sensational and makes the perfect starter for any special meal. And finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a sweet treat to finish.
Anna’s really pushed the boat out with this gingerbread and clementine caramel upside-down pud – even its name is exciting. Like all these recipes it can be adapted for vegans, and it tastes amazing.
So here are the recipes and the full article can be viewed at the MailOnline.
Best ever Cranberry and Pistachio Nut Roast
- A small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 150g (5½oz) risotto rice or pearl barley
- 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
- 500ml (18fl oz) hot vegetable stock l 200g (7oz) mixed wild mushrooms
- 100g (3½oz) pistachios, toasted
- 100g (3½fl oz) almonds, toasted
- A handful of breadcrumbs from sourdough or ciabatta
- 125g (4½oz) vegetarian cheddar, grated
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten (or use a vegan egg substitute, from health food stores)
- 2 sprigs each of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 200g (7oz) fresh cranberries
First make the nut roast’s risotto base. Soak the dried porcini in a little boiling water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat.
Add the celery and onion and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Turn up the heat and add the rice. Cook for a minute or so until you hear it snap, crackle and pop, then add the wine and stir until absorbed.
Drain the porcini, sieve any grit from the liquid and add this to the risotto pan, stirring until absorbed.
Finely chop the porcini and add to the pan. Add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring each one in until completely absorbed (about 20 minutes).
Stir as much as you can – this will make it creamy. Once the rice is al dente (when you break into a grain, it should be almost cooked through but still have a white fleck in the middle), transfer to a bowl to cool. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ gas 5. Fry the wild mushrooms in a little olive oil over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until they just start to crisp.
Bash the nuts into coarse pieces, or quickly pulse in a food processor. Once the risotto is cool, add all the other ingredients except the sugar and cranberries, season, and mix well. Butter a 27cm (10¾in) loaf tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Cook the sugar and the cranberries in a pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then tip into the tin and spread evenly. Pile on the nut roast mixture and pack it down with the back of a spoon.
Cover the whole thing with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until 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 flip the whole lot over, then carefully lift the tin off.
Quince Salad with Toffee Apple dressing
- 2 quinces, peeled and left whole
- 1 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 750ml (1 1/ 3 pt) cloudy apple juice
- 2tbsp cider vinegar
- 3tbsp sugar
- 1 large head of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 heads of red endive/chicory, leaves picked off
- Olive oil
- A good handful of almonds, skin on
- A small piece of strong, hard, vegetarian cheese, grated
Put the quinces in a large pan with the star anise, cloves, bay leaves and apple juice and poach over a medium heat for 20 minutes, until tender. Remove the quinces from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to cool.
Pour 200ml (7fl oz) of the poaching liquid into a smaller pan and discard the rest or store in the fridge for future use. Add the cider vinegar and sugar and simmer over a low-medium heat until it has all reduced to a thick, golden-orange syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
Put the salad leaves in a big bowl. Once the quinces are completely cool, cut the flesh from the core and slice into thin wedges. Add to the bowl. Mix your syrup with the same amount of olive oil and season – this is your toffee dressing. Dress the quince and leaves, then divide the salad between 8 plates and top with the almonds and grated cheese. To make the dish vegan, simply omit the cheese.
Gingerbread & Clementine Caramel upside down pud
- 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter or vegan margarine (from health food stores), plus extra for greasing
- 125g (4½oz) soft light brown sugar
- 100g (3½oz) marmalade
- 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
- 150ml (5fl oz) soya milk
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- ½tsp allspice or ground cinnamon
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 2tsp baking powder
- For the clementine caramel
- 3tbsp unsalted butter or vegan margarine
- 100g (3½oz) soft light brown sugar
- 4 clementines, peeled
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm (8½in) cake tin. For the clementine caramel, melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan, add the sugar and stir over a medium heat until dissolved.
Pour into the cake tin. Cut the clementines horizontally into 5mm (1¼in) slices and carefully arrange in circles on top of the hot, sugary mixture.
Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy; using an electric hand mixer is the easiest way. Beat in the marmalade, then add half the self-raising flour and mix well. Stir in the soya milk and orange zest, mix well, then add the remaining flour, the spices and baking powder, and beat again until combined.
Pour the resulting batter over the caramel in the tin and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is firm and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before flipping out onto a serving plate. Serve warm with custard, vegan or otherwise.