Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sluttery Christmas: Veggie Wellington

Vegetarians! Already dreading the nut roast / stuffed mushroom / joyless Quorn roast  this year? Fear Christmas dinner no more, my meat-hating comrades. This veggie Wellington will turn your meal from the subject of pity and scorn to envy. I know - quite the claim. But I'm flipping delighted at having found a main meal that tastes delicious, looks suitably impressive in the middle of the table, and won't result in your nan gazing sorrowfully at you and asking if it isn't time that you gave us this "vegetarian" malarky.

Veggie Wellington is roasted vegetables mixed with rice and herbs, wrapped in puff pastry and glazed with beaten egg. The filling can be whatever combination of vegetables takes your fancy. I've gone for veg chosen partly for taste and partly for colour - you want this to be a showstopper when you cut into it. Mushrooms are a classic filling, so fry them with some chopped onion if you'd prefer - add plenty of herbs and dried cranberries for colour.


The finished article turns out with a burnished shine, buttery and golden and guaranteed to persuade at least one meat-eater to ditch the turkey for a slice of this.

Veggie Wellington (serves 4)

You will need:
  • 60g basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • 250g puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp pesto or sundried tomato paste
  • 1 egg, beaten
Make it!
  1. Cook the rice with the turmeric and lemon zest (use your tried and tested method, or follow the instructions on the pack). Add the chopped parsley and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Toss the squash, potato, pepper, onion and garlic in a baking tray with some olive oil - 1 tbsp should be enough to coat them. Roast for 20 minutes, then throw in the spinach and mix until it wilts. Set aside to cool.
  3. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 20cm x 40cm rectangle, around 5mm thick. Spread the pesto or sundried tomato paste over it.
  4. Mix the cooked rice and roasted veg and season to taste. Spoon onto the centre of the dough, and then pull up the edges so they meet on top. Pinch them together (doesn't matter if it looks a bit ragged, no-one will see this) and turn it over. 
  5. Put the veggie wellington onto a lightly greased baking tray, brush with beaten egg and lightly mark lines across the top with the back of a knife. Chill for half an hour.
  6. Roast the wellington for 25-30 minutes at 200C/400F/gas mark 6 until golden brown. Leave it for 5 minutes before slicing. Alternatively, make individual wellingtons for your guests and roast them for 15-20 minutes. 
Serve with vegetarian gravy and all the Christmas trimmings. Cooking for vegans? Lots of mainstream brands of puff pastry are vegan, so just check the ingredients before you buy.

4 comments:

  1. I made a mean goats cheese and chesnut wellington. Essentially the same idea but with young goats cheese and chesnut puree on the outside of it - So good for christmas! Definitely don't miss the turkey (although I'll still lust over the pigs in blankets)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the idea of chestnut puree on the outside - very Christmassy. I think you can basically bung anything inside a wellington and it'll turn out beautifully.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this recipe! I have been thinking what to make and was just asking people at work today and then I come home to see this. Will definitely try this out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's great! Let us know how it works out.

      Delete

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