The problem with nutloaf is that it tastes of nuts – and not much else. So what I’ve done is add more of the ‘meatloaf’ methods, such as soaking the bread in milk, a nice crisp polenta crust and lots of flavour. Give it a try.
- 50g fresh white bread, crusts removed and cubed
- 50g white breadcrumbs
- 1 medium egg
- 150ml milk
- 25g butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 small celery sticks, finely chopped
- Handful finely chopped fresh parsley
- 100g blanched hazelnuts, chopped
- 350g pecans, chopped
- 75g vegetarian Parmesan, grated
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 medium egg white, lightly beaten
- Polenta, for lining the tin
- 1. Put the bread and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Beat the egg and milk together in a jug, pour over the bread and set aside for 15 minutes to soften. Mash really well with a fork.
- 2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Cool slightly, then add to the mashed bread, along with the mustard, dried herbs, nutmeg, onion, celery, parsley and plenty of seasoning. Mix well. Add the nuts, Parmesan, lemon zest, carrot, Tabasco and egg white and gently fold in. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Brush a 20cm x 13cm loaf tin with melted butter, then dust the inside all over with polenta – tap out the excess. Spoon in the nutloaf mixture, pressing it in firmly. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Rest for 5 minutes, before turning out.
- 4. Thickly slice and divide between plates. Serve with buttery mash and a good-quality tomato sauce.
Per serving: 755kcals, 63g fat (10.4g saturated), 19.5g protein, 30.3g carbs, 8.2g sugar, 1.3g salt
Freeze it: at the end of step 2 for up to 3 months. Thoroughly defrost and continue with the recipe.
Try this with a classy, mellow Rioja or a fine Burgundy.