It is always fun to enter competitions, even more so when they are on topics that you can relate to and that come along with meaningful prizes. My Dish is holding a competition at the moment based around nostalgic food. They ask you to submit the name of your favourite nostalgic dish, and in return you are entered into a prize draw for £100 of M&S vouchers (only open to UK residents – sorry). You can enter here, the closing date is 20 November so you need to hurry.
My moto of the moment is nothing ventured nothing gained i.e. if you don’t enter then you won’t win so I submitted my favourite 1970’s vegetarian nut roast dish! It is a classic nut roast but not at all heavy because it is made with pine nuts. Tastes great served with roasted vegetables and vegetable gravy or my easy to make tomato sauce.
Nut roast is sadly neglected these days, especially in my household, but I may just start a “bring it back” campaign. My mum used to make this version of nut roast for me – not too sure how kind it would be on the pocket these days as the price of pine nuts has shot through the roof – all to do with sustainability issues and techniques that large agriculture has been using to farm the produce.
I adore pine nuts; they are delicious with a creamy texture and a gentle sweetness to their flavour. They are one of my favourite seeds. They are distinctive, not overbearing, and most importantly light. Nut roasts can be very heavy but this version is not. I use European pine nuts although US pine nuts are just as good. I have never tried using the Asian versions in this recipe and, in fact, with the concerns surrounding Asian pine nuts, I don’t cook with them at all. Check the packaging for the country of origin. The Chinese species of pine nuts are the ones that seem to cause problems.
Pine Nut – Nut Roast Recipe (US quantities as usual)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
Garlic to taste, minced – usually 1-2 cloves or you will overpower the pine nuts
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 cup carrot, grated
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
3 cups breadcrumbs
1 ¼ cups of pine nuts
2 tbsp. parsley
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Gently fry/sweat the carrot, onion, celery and garlic in a pan with the oil.
Add the stock to the mixture and simmer for around 10 minutes. To this, add the pine nuts, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs – as you stir it in the mixture will firm up.
Turn out the mixture into a greased 2lb Loaf tin and bake in the oven at 375F, 190C for 40 minutes. You’ll need to check on it occasionally to make sure the tops doesn’t over cook i.e. you will need to baste it. Rest for 10 minutes slice and serve.
Don’t forget to enter the competition here for a chance of winning the vouchers, good luck!