Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

It is no secret that I hate nut roast. I hate it for the same reason I hate stuffed peppers, mushroom stroganoff and risotto – because they’re the dishes that were stuffed down my throat as a child in the late ’80s.
But times have changed, and so have these dishes (or so I hear) and therefore, so must I – although actually, I’m pretty sure stuffed peppers are still pretty awful.
Anyway, nowadays, ‘I’ll have the risotto,’ is a phrase being uttered across the country, and not just out of necessity but choice! By choice, I tells you! And the same can be said for my ultimate nemesis – the nut roast, AKA – dry, flavourless, nutty gravel.
Want a way to ruin a lovely plate of roast vegetables? Simply add a big, ugly door-stopper-sized slice of nut roast. Horrible. Or so I thought.
Recently, I took a chance and ordered the nut roast at our local pub and it was (dare I say it) rather tasty. Like a rare and exotic specimen, I expertly dissected it with a fork as Jamie and his friends tried to ignore my terrible table manners – I practically face-planted into my plate in order to give it a good old sniff. In the end, I couldn’t figure out what was in it (and I was being being incredibly rude) so I just scoffed it.
So, with that in mind, and not having a clue what was in it, I decided to try and make it – not at all challenging. What I came up with in the end was this butternut squash, goat’s cheese and chestnut concoction. It’s nothing like the one I had at the Brave Sir Robin, but wrapped in cabbage leaves it’s lovely and moist and scarcely resembles the nut roast that used to end up on our Christmas table in the ’80s.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Serves 6 / Hands on time 45mins / Total 1hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: Food processor, hand blender, 2lb (21cm x 11cm) loaf tin, ice cubes and kitchen roll.
6 savoy cabbage leaves
50g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
100g parsnip (1 medium) cubed
150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I used Merchant Gourmet)
75g cashews
50g walnuts
100g brown breadcrumbs
100g vegetarian goats cheese, roughly cubed
2 Sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 tsp salt


Method
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, sweat the onions in 50g of unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, on a medium heat with the lid on. Put a filled kettle on to boil and start preparing and chopping the butternut squash and parsnip.
2. Add the butternut squash and the parsnip to the softening onions, give it a stir and replace the lid. Turn the heat down from medium to a low heat and stir occasionally.
3. Grease a loaf tin generously with butter, line with foil and grease the foil with more butter. Put to one side. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into another large saucepan and and bring to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and put to one side. Remove 6 cabbage leaves from the savoy cabbage and drop them carefully into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ice cold water bath. Put to one side.
4. Using a food processor, now is a good time to make the breadcrumbs by simply wizzing a couple of torn slices of brown bread in a blender. Put to one side. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4
5. Uncover the butternut squash and onion mixture and using a hand blender, blitz half the mixture straight in the pot. Give it a good mix and add the chopped mushrooms before stirring again and covering with the lid once more.
6. In a large dry frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, toast the cashews and the walnuts together for a few minutes moving constantly in the pan to avoid burning (you want them to get a bit of colour but not too much). Turn out onto a chopping board and using a large knife, roughly chop them along with the cooked chestnuts.
7. Take the butternut squash and mushroom mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the chopped nuts. Add the roughly chopped gooey goats cheese along with a ½ tsp of salt, a good crack of black pepper and the chopped rosemary. Give it all a good stir and put to one side.
8. remove the cabbage leaves from the water bath and blot each leaf with kitchen roll to dry it off a bit. Line the tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides. Spoon in the mixture and pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top and use any spare cabbage leaves to fill any holes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven 40 mins. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes.
9. Once cooked take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over and turn the nut roast out. Peel off any foil and cut into generous slices and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

If you’ve had a go at making my nut roast or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian


 

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