Instead of meat, one can use nuts as a protein source, for something completely different and yet totally delicious. Try this “Nut Roast”, courtesy of Jamie Oliver, and serve this with roast butternut, and some delicious salads including a grain salad (like couscous / quinoa).
500g butternut, peel and deseed, cube
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 sticks celery, chop into chunks
200g chestnuts (available in SA in speciality stores, either fresh or tinned)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1tsp dried oregano
2 large brown mushrooms, roughly chopped
120g dried apricots, chopped
150g mixed unsalted nuts
4 large eggs
40g mature cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°
Take a large sheet of greaseproof paper, wet it, scrunch it up and then use it to line a greased 1.5l loaf tin, leaving a bit of overhand at the ends to help you lift out your nut roast later.
Cook the quinoa, and allow to cool
Place the butternut, onion and celery into a large roasting tray; crumble in the chestnuts, strip in the rosemary, add in the paprika, oregano, salt and black pepper, and 2Tbs oil, and toss well. Roast for 40 minutes, adding in the mushrooms for the last 10 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and tip everything into the quinoa bowl. Finely grate in half the lemon zest, add the bread crumbs and the chopped apricots and nuts. Crack in the eggs and mix well. Transfer to the lined loaf tin, piling it up high. Roast for 40 minutes or until golden and gnarly.
With 30minutes to go make the sauce. On the hob heat 1Tbs oil in a roasting tray on medium heat. Leaving them joined at the stalk, halve the chilies lengthways, and then add to the tray with the cinnamon for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, peel and slice the garlic. Scoop the chilies and cinnamon out of the tray and put aside, then add the garlic, strip in most of the thyme leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, chop and add the peppers, pour in the tinned tomatoes and 1 tin’s worth water, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add the balsamic and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally.
Lift the nut roast out of the tin and sit it in the sauce, discarding the paper. Grate over the cheese, pop a chilli on top with the remaining thyme sprigs and drizzle with a little oil. Return the other chilies and cinnamon to the sauce. Roast for a final 15 minutes, then leave to stand for 5 minutes. Finely chop and stir as much as the chilli as you prefer into the sauce.
Slice the nut roast – and ENJOY!