Nutty Nutritious Loaf for Christmas

We are almost into December, Christmas lights are up in our cities, set menus are on display in our restaurants, adverts are playing on our tellies and festive ingredients are in prime spots at our farmers markets. We are all getting into the spirit so this has inspired us at Feed to produce a plant based dish which could be center stage on the 25th December.

Lentil loafs have been around for years but we decided to create one with a risotto base to give it a creamier texture. You could use leftover risotto to make this or double the quantities of risotto so you can make two meals for the same amount of effort! We would also recommend making a double batch as the loaf will freeze well once cooked and cooled. With the festive addition of cranberries these give the loaf a lovely tangy flavour and add moisture to the finished dish.

Risotto and Nut Cranberry Loaf – Serves 8

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Ingredients

1 small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
150g of risotto rice or pearl barley
100ml dry white wine
500ml of good quality hot vegetable stock (keep on the stove while you make the risotto)
200g of mixed wild mushrooms, chopped into even small chunks
100g of pistachios, toasted
100g of almonds toasted
50g walnuts
Handful of breadcrumbs
125g of good mature cheddar cheese
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 free range organic eggs, whisked
2 tbsp of  chopped fresh or dried thyme and rosemary
200g of fresh or frozen cranberries
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp of coconut sugar

Method

  1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in some boiling water
  2. Prepare the risotto by heating a large heavy bottom frying pan and add the olive oil
  3. When the oil is hot add the onions, celery, a pinch or two of salt, and cook for about 10 mins until they go translucent, you might need to turn the heat down a bit
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
  5. Turn the heat up a bit and add the rice, stirring for about 2 mins until you see the outer shell start to go translucent
  6. Add the white wine and cook for about 2 mins or until its been absorbed by the rice
  7. Now add the warm stock a ladle at a time to the rice and each time it becomes absorbed by the rice, add another ladle – this should take about 25 minutes
  8. Once cooked, check the seasoning, then set the risotto to the side to cool
  9. Heat the oven to 180C
  10. Pan fry the mushrooms in some olive oil until they start to go light brown, set aside
  11. Toast the almonds and pistachios for about 4 mins in a frying pan over a medium heat and pulse in a food processor to crumble them up a bit
  12. Warm the cranberries in a small saucepan with the coconut sugar
  13. Line the loaf tin with baking paper then add the cranberries in an even layer on the bottom
  14. Mix the ristotto base with all the nuts, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, grated cheddar, lemon zest, chopped chilli, chopped herbs and eggs
  15. Press the mixture down on top of the cranberries and then cover in foil and place in the middle shelf in the over for 45 mins
  16. After 45 mins remove the foil and put in the oven for a further 15 mins
  17. Removed from the oven, stand for 5 mins and then place a serving plate on top and turn upside down onto the plate
  18. Serve hot or cold

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