At this time of the year, I always feel the need to start experimenting with nut roast and nut/vegetable loaf recipes, even though I have managed to get away with doing the big entertaining this Christmas! I love cashews so this vegan variation on a classic recipe worked really well for me. I found the combination of the the moistness of the grated courgettes and the flour worked really well in the absence of eggs. Happy New Year everyone!
150g red split lentils, rinsed
2 medium courgettes, roughly grated
400ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
150g unsalted cashew nuts
3 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tbs lemon juice
100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
50g plain flour
3 tbs fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the lentils, stock and bay leaves to a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer covered for 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and keep warm.
2. While the lentils are cooking, lightly toast the cashew nuts in a non-stick frying pan for 1 minute. Place in a food processor and roughly chop.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease and line two medium or one large loaf tins.
4. In the frying pan, add the oil and gently sir fry the onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms, until tender. Add the grated courgette and fry for 2 further minutes.
5. In a large mixing bowl add the vegetables, cashew nuts, lentils, grated breadcrumbs, flour, lemon juice and parsley and stir well to combine. Season well.
6. Pour the mixture into the tin or tins and cover with a rectangle of tin foil. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
7. Serve in slices with a rich tomato and paprika sauce, or with a good vegetable gravy. Serve with roasted vegetables or a green salad.