As a vegetarian, Christmas dinners have always required a good deal of experimentation. Over the years I've had a variety of nut roasts and other substitutions - and not all of them have fulfilled my Christmas wishes. Luckily enough, after many attempts, my mother landed upon the perfect nut roast recipe. I now always look forward to Christmas dinner with confidence: I know what I am getting and it is absolutely delicious! For a winning Christmas dinner, follow this recipe.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 3 onions
  • 2 apples
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 125g walnuts, chopped
  • Handful of sage
  • Handful of thyme
  • Handful of rosemary
  • 400g chestnut puree
  • 450g whole chestnuts
  • 500g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Aubergine

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Finely chop the onion, garlic, celery, walnuts and apple. Fry gently in the olive oil until softened with all of the herbs.
  1. Pour the vegetable mixture into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, chestnut puree, and chestnuts and blitz until mixed together and smooth.
  2. Chop the aubergine into thin slices along its length. Fry on a low heat in olive oil until part cooked.
  3. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper and then place the cooked aubergine slices along the bottom of the tin, ensuring that they fully cover it.
  1. Spoon the blended mix into the tin carefully on top of the aubergine slices to fill it.
  2. Bake for 40 minutes.
  3. Best served with roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and brussel sprouts.