Both my sister and dad are vegetarian and normally get the short end of the stick when it comes to Christmas dinner. Some kind of shop bought nut roast or a Linda Mccartney pie. Last year my mum decided to treat them and alongside the beautiful roast she cooks also made the effort to cook them something new.
This recipe is not one handed down through generations but one from a ‘The Happy Foodie’ website, adapted slightly and made simpler. Another tip if using this recipe, it can very easily replace the stuffing on the table as it mirrors the consistency. Just one less thing to cook this Christmas.
Changing the pastry type from all butter to a vegan or gluten free pastry and cooking the leeks in oil not butter can easily make the recipe dairy free, gluten free or vegan. Across the two parcels it should be able to feed eight but as we all know, Christmas portions should always be bigger.
For the filling:
2 leeks (approx. 450g untrimmed)
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
100g pitted dates, finely chopped
100g pre-cooked chopped hazelnuts
15 sage leaves, roughly chopped
½ small apple, very finely diced (approx. 30g)
170g mixed unsalted nuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Marmite, dissolved in 3 tbsp boiling water
2 x 320g packets of ready-rolled puff pastry sheets
Salt and Pepper
Cut the leeks lengthways and then into ½-cm slices. Wash the leeks well in a bowl of warm water, then rinse and repeat.
Melt the butter in a frying pan then add the leeks to the pan with the thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and a large pinch of pepper. Stir frequently, for about 10–12 minutes or until the leeks have softened and browned.
Transfer the leeks to a large bowl and add the dates, chestnuts, sage leaves, breadcrumbs, apple, olive oil and dissolved marmite. Mix well and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175°C fan/195°C and remove the pastry from the fridge. Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Unroll a sheet of puff pastry, place one portion of filling in the centre and form it into a loaf shape, leaving an 8cm border of pastry clear of filling all the way round.
At each corner, cut a 6-cm square from the pastry sheet, stopping 2cm away from the filling. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the pastry border.
Fold the two short ends of pastry up and over the filling. Now fold the two long sides of pastry over the filling until they meet in the middle – you may have to gently stretch it to cover the filling. Press the pastry edges together to seal the parcel.
Repeat with the remaining filling and puff pastry.
Carefully turn the parcels over so that joins in the pastry are underneath and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. If you like, gently score the surface of the pastry parcels with a pattern. Score lines, or diamonds, or whatever you fancy, just be very careful not to cut too deeply through to the filling.
Brush the parcels all over with the remaining egg wash. Brush again with more egg wash. Bake in the hot oven for 30–40 minutes or until the pastry is shiny and golden.
The Nut Wellington is absolutely delicious cold and perfect for a Boxing Day leftovers. Leftovers will keep absolutely fine covered in the fridge for up to three days if it lasts that long.
Featured image – The last food blog