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Christmas nut loaf

Serves: 10
Prep: 20
Cook: 60

    This Christmas Nut Loaf by Melanie Lionello is the perfect vegetarian centerpiece for a Christmas lunch, but also makes a perfect vegetarian roast for any time of year.


    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 sticks celery, leaves trimmed and sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 capsicum, grated
    • 1 large carrot, skin on, grated
    • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
    • 100g red lentils
    • 2 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 cup reduced salt vegetable stock
    • 100g wholegrain breadcrumbs
    • 150g hazelnuts
    • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 130g mature cheddar, grated


    1. Heat the oven to 180C and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
    2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and cook onion and celery for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
    3. Stir in garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    4. Add capsicum and carrot and cook for 3 minutes then add smoked paprika and cook for another minute.
    5. Add lentils and tomato paste and cook for about a minute, then add stock and simmer over a medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is pretty dry. This takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how high you have your stove. Set aside to cool. 
    6. Place cooled mixture into a bowl and add breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, eggs, cheese and a big pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
    7. Stir to mix very well then spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and press down firmly to evenly compact and smooth the top.
    8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes until quite firm when pressed.
    9. Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a serving board or plate to slice. It actually slices better the colder it is so you can bake it a day ahead, let it go cold, slice and reheat the next day for serving.
    10. Serve with gravy and your favourite trimmings!


    • You can chop/slice/grate all vegetables in a food processor

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