Mary Berry’s nut roast can be prepared ahead and is also great served cold with chutney and salad.
This meat-free main is perfect for vegetarians this Christmas but we’re sure everyone will want a slice. Serve it as a festive main course or as part of your buffet spread for Boxing Day or New Year’s Day. Mary serves it with a rich Italian tomato sauce but you can opt for classic gravy if you prefer.
- 1 medium aubergine
- Olive oil
- 40g (1.5oz) butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 175g (6oz) shelled mixed nuts (such as Brazils, pine nuts, blanched whole almonds), chopped in the processor, but not too finely
- 50g (2oz) shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- 100g (4oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- Grated rind and juice of half a lemon
- 100g (4oz) mature Cheddar, grated
- 100g (4oz) frozen chestnuts, thawed and roughly chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
- Italian tomato sauce, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the grill, and oven to 200C (180C fan, Gas 6). Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 19 x 17 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in), with foil and oil lightly.
- Slice the aubergine thinly, lengthways. Arrange on a large oiled baking tray in a single layer, brush or drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook under the hot grill for 5-7 mins each side until the aubergine has softened and is beginning to turn golden. The aubergine will cook to a deep brown once in the oven, so don't worry about getting too much colour at this stage. Once you have turned the aubergine slices over, do keep a close eye on them as the second side will colour more quickly than the first side. Allow to cool slightly.
- Use the aubergines to line across the base and sides of the prepared loaf tin, all slices going in the same direction.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 mins. Spoon into a large bowl and leave to cool.
- Add the nuts, breadcrumbs, lemon rind and juice, cheese, chestnuts, beaten egg and chopped parsley to the bowl with plenty of seasoning, and stir well to mix.
- Spoon into the lined loaf tin, pressing the mixture down firmly. Fold the ends of aubergine over the top of the filling and cover the tin with the foil.
- Cook in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Turn out onto a serving plate, remove the tin and garnish with sprigs of flat-leaf parsley.
Watch how to make Mary Berry's nut roast
Top tip for making Mary Berry's nut roast
If you want to serve your nut roast again the next day, it can be reheated in both the microwave or oven. For the best result we’d recommend warming through in the oven to make sure its just as soft on the inside and crisp on the outside as it was when originally served. Reheat at 180C (160C fan, Gas 4) for 50 mins to an hour, until piping hot.
How to prepare Mary Berry’s nut roast ahead?
Mary says: ‘You can prepare the nut roast the day before up to the end of step six. Keep in the fridge, then cook as directed. Alternatively it can be made and completed up to two days ahead.’
Mary adds: ‘This also freezes very successfully. Turn it out of the tin, allow to cool then wrap and freeze for up to a month. To reheat, put the nut load on to a baking tray and cover with foil. Reheat in the oven preheated to 180C (160C fan/Gas 4) for 50 minutes to an hour or until pipping hot throughout.’
Mary Berry’s tips for a stress free Christmas
Shop ahead, sharpen your knives and save time reheating your christmas pud in the microwave.
Mary says: ‘If your Christmas pudding is traditional, and contains a high proportion of sugar, dried fruits, fat and alcohol, it can be reheated in the microwave. All these ingredients quickly reach a high temperature in the microwave.’
What can I do with leftover nut roast?
Nut roast cold is just as delicious as it is hot and can add another variation to the dish. You could try and crumble it over a freshly prepared salad for a nutty twist. Or mash it into your bubble and squeak mix to make the ultimate vegetarian hash.
Why does my nut roast fall apart?
One of the most common reasons for an over crumbling nut roast are that it hasn't been packed down well enough into the baking tin. Alternatively, it can be that the you have overcooked the roast. Check your oven temperature is not too high using an oven thermometer. You can pick them up cheaply in supermarkets or online.