If you are looking for a meat free alternative for Christmas dinner this festive nut roast is an easy replacement that can be made ahead of time and cooked when ready to eat. The warming spices from the Sharwarma Paste, combination of nuts and shiitake mushrooms give the loaf a rich, earthy flavour that stands its ground against the Christmas dinner trimmings.
2 Parsnips, stalk removed, peeled, quartered and cored
1 large White Onion, peeled & finely sliced
2 sticks of Celery, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, peeled & sliced
400g Chestnut Mushroom, sliced
125g Shiitake Mushrooms, stalk removed and sliced
3 tbsp Shawarma Paste
125g Fresh Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
20g Fresh Parsley
1 tbsp Polenta
Bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil. Add the parsnips and cook until soft – around 8-10 mins. Remove from the pan, drain and allow to cool. Mash to a paste with a fork and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Place the nuts on a baking tray and roast for 5-7 mins or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the olive oil and when hot add the onion, celery and garlic. Cook for around 8 mins until softened and slightly sweet.
Turn the heat up, add the mushrooms and cook for another 8-10 mins until the mushrooms are soft and any water has evaporated. Add the Shawarma Paste and cook for a further 2 mins. Put the mushroom mix into a bigger bowl and set aside.
Roughly chop the nuts then add to the mushroom mix along with the parsnips, fresh breadcrumbs, parsley and season well with salt and pepper before mixing until just combined. Crack the egg into a bowl and beat. Add this to the mix and stir through.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a loaf tin (approx. 22x12x7cm) add the polenta and shake to coat. Spoon the mixture into the tin, pressing down as you go. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 mins, remove the foil and bake for a further 15 mins. Loosen the edges with a knife before turning out onto a plate to serve.