I made this up on the fly for Christmas dinner for me and my parents (The rest of the family tucked into roast beef) so the weights and measures are a bit of a guess.
I should give a tip of the hat to my mum for the basic nut loaf recipe from which I started and to Felicity Cloake in The Guardian for much inspiration.
First I roasted about 12 large chestnuts for about 20 minutes at 200C. Adjust the cooking time and number of chestnuts depending on their size. Then I let them cool.
Finely chop a medium sized onion and fry in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. after a few minutes start adding the other vegetables. I added :
- A large parsnip (about 350g). Peeled, topped and tailed and chopped into 1cm dice.
- Celeriac – about the same amount as the parsnip and prepared in a similar way.
- 3 large open cup mushrooms chopped as the other veg.
- 2 large cloves of garlic crushed.
Give it all a good stir and cook for 10 -15 minutes on a low heat. Then turn the heat off and add a couple of heaped teaspoons of vegetable bouillon and a heaped teaspoon of Marmite, some pepper and grated nutmeg. Hold fire on the salt as the bouillon is often salty enough that you won’t need to add any more. Give it all a good stir and then mash it a bit. The idea isn’t to get a smooth mash but just to break it all up a bit
In the meantime grind up about 100g of cashews, 100g of walnuts and 100g of brazil nuts. I found my electric grinder worked well on the cashews but got a big gunked up with the walnuts and brazils so I ended up chopping them by hand. In any case you want the nuts either ground or very finely chopped.
Put all the ground nuts in a big bowl. Shell the cooled chestnuts, chop them up finely and add to the bowl. Add about 150-200g of breadcrumbs (I used wholemeal bread but I’m sure other bread would work just as well).
Add the cooled and mashed vegetable mix to the bowl and cut or crumble about 150g of blue stilton into the mixture. Add 2 eggs and stir until its all combined. Check the seasoning and add more salt (or bouillon if required).
Spoon the mixture into a lined loaf tin. My tin is 11.5 x 22 x 6.5 cm. Squash it all down and cover with foil. You can put in in the fridge overnight or cook it straight away. I roasted at 180C for about 1.5 hours.