50g fresh white bread, crusts removed and cubed
50g white breadcrumbs
1 medium egg
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.
- 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.