Mother’s Garden savoury nut roast

Here’s a Mother’s Garden favourite, not only because it is so so yummy hot or cold, but because we can source most of the ingredients here on the farm.

We are not vegetarians, but meat is absent from a great deal of our diet and our kitchen bookshelves feature recipes by the likes of Sarah Brown, Rose Elliot and the American Mollie Katzen.
This nut roast is quick, simple and can be enjoyed with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables, or cold with a fresh crisp salad.
For us, though, it is a slow food, as we enjoy sitting at the kitchen table, talking or listening to the radio, cracking farm nuts and filling the large jar that we know equates to two nut roasts.
Why not do what we do and always make double the mixture and pop two roasts in the oven, ensuring there will be some to enjoy cold. The use of an egg to help bind is optional, but we tend to put one in.
As I said, so many of the ingredients can be sourced on the farm – the walnuts, almonds, hazels , onions, garlic, wild thyme, extra virgin olive oil, breadcrumbs – and we then cook them in the little oven above our woodstove.

Ingredients for two roasts
Two tablespoons of Mother’s Garden arbequina olive oil.
4 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
25g of flour
thyme, fresh or dried, two or more teaspoons
300ml of vegetable stock
300g of mixed almonds, walnuts and hazels, ground or roughly chopped. We vary the percentages and sometimes replace one with bought cashews.
200g of breadcrumbs.
One fresh free-range egg(optional)
Juice of a lemon
Large clove of garlic, finally chopped

Gently saute the onions in a heavy pan until tender. Stir occasionally. This should take about ten minutes
Use this time to mix your ground nuts and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and, if time, line two loaf tins with saved butter papers or grease-proof paper.
When the onions are soft add the flour. Stir for a minute then add stock and and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat.
Now the sticky bit.
Combine the onion mixture with the ground nuts and breadcrumbs. This is when we add a farm egg, but not essential.
Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and then work the mixture together with a wooden spoon. It should provide enough mixture to three-quarter fill two loaf tins.
You can now leave these in the fridge for a few hours or, if your oven is heated and ready, pop them in.
We have tried baking at a high heat (200C) for 40 minutes, but prefer to cook them for an hour at a slightly lower temperature. It is always hard for us to gauge because of the personality of our woodstove, but all you have to do is keep checking. Sticking a knife into the roast is always a good test. If it comes out sticky it will need a little longer in the oven.
We have also learned to let them rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with
If we are having it as a hot meal we always pour fresh olive oil on our steamed vegetables (so so good) but you may want to either make a gravy or, as we do regularly, some homemade garlic mayonnaise (ali-oli).
A popular gravy at Mother’s Garden is made with mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, a little brandy, flour to thicken, vegetable stock and seasoning to taste.
Lightly saute the chopped mushrooms (400g) in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil , add a nip of brandy if you like the idea, stir until the liquid has gone and the mushrooms are brown then add the flour, stirring for a few minutes. In goes the stock. We let this simmer for 5 minutes, then allow it to cool a little before liquidising. You can then leave until you need it, or reheat immediately to serve.
Any leftovers always make a great addition to a “what’s left in the fridge?” soup.

Tell us how you get on! We love feedback…..

5 responses to Mother’s Garden savoury nut roast

  1. Paula Dackombe

    Made 2 nutroasts and had one hot with roast veg and one cold with salad and homemade pickles – both were really delicious. Thankyou, Maggie, for a really tasty receipe. Will pass it on to my friend,another Maggie, who is a veggie as I’m sure she’ll enjoy it too.
    Changing the subject to books – should post this on Goodreads really – think you would love a book called The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift. It’s a beautiful, poetic book about putting down roots, finding a home, making a garden, uncovering the past, etc. etc. It’s layout takes the format of a medieval book of hours. It’s a meditative book that takes you on a journey of self-exploration and discovery. Truly worth all the stars available!! Sending you all warm wishes, PAULA DACKOMBE

  2. Martin Kirby Post Author

    Really good to know – thanks for getting in touch Paula. And will look for the book! Trust all is well. Sending warm wishes back

  3. Dors Koon

    I halved all the ingredients and made one nut roast for our family of 3 tonight… and what a keeper! I did make some minor changes like cooking the garlic and the thyme with the onion, and using rice crumbs instead of breadcrumbs – it was so delicious especially with the mushroom gravy. My partner LOVED it, so we’ll definitely be including this recipe for the xmas menu.
    Also, your story sounds like an amazing and inspiring one. We recently moved from the city (Sydney, Australia) to a beautiful and magical rural region and we’re not looking back! It’s been a truly wonderful lifestyle change for us and watching our daughter grow up surrounded by nature, so happy and healthy is enough for us to know that we did the right thing for her and for us.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe. Looking forward to reading your books too!

  4. Josephanie Palmer

    Made this yesterday for Sunday lunch, it was amazing and my family asked if I would make it for Christmas day instead of my usual nut roast. So easy to make, it will become a regular contributor to our meals, particularly as it tastes so nice cold and will be ideal to put in with a packed lunch or picnic and great with jacket potato, salad and homemade chutney. I will make some to freeze and slice into individual portions as they are a handy standby to have for a quick healthy snack. Thank you for sharing your recipes, this one is a definite winner.

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