Vegetarian Roast Cheese, Cashew and Walnut Loaf

Patsy Hollingum writes: I’ve been making this for our Christmas dinner for around ten years now. It sounds more complex than it is, the end result is well worth the effort, and it takes far less time to roast than a turkey. It is just as tasty served cold, and also freezes well, if carefully packed.

You will need:

All finely chopped:
 2 medium onions
 1 medium red pepper
 3 sticks celery

175 g chopped mushrooms

2 cloves crushed garlic

Approx. 1 teaspoon of
 dried thyme

4 tablespoonfuls chopped fresh herbs:
 etc - don’t overdo the rosemary though.

100 g shelled walnuts, finely chopped
120 g cashew pieces - don’t over-process if using a mixer

175 g cottage cheese
300g of mixed grated cheeses:
 smoked cheddar
 Red Leicester
 strong cheddar

5 – 6 eggs (depending on size) beaten.
1 tablespoonful Dijon mustard
Seasoning to taste.
Oil to sauté

100g uncooked brown rice  - when cooked the brown rice will weigh approx. 250g

To prepare:

Gently fry the chopped celery and onions. When slightly softened, add mushrooms, garlic, red pepper, dried herbs and seasoning.
It’s important not to let the vegetables over- brown when cooking. Stir regularly.

When all the vegetables are softened, put the mixture into a large mixing bowl then add all other ingredients to the bowl and mix till well-combined.

You will need a 2lb loaf tin, lined but not with ordinary greaseproof as it’s likely to stick. Use baking parchment. Use one long strip for end-to-end fit, and a similar wide strip, running side to side. The top of the mix needs to be completely covered, so don’t skimp on the paper. The depth of filling should be no greater than 7 cm. If the tin is very full, wrap the outside of the tin in brown paper, and cover the top with more paper, to prevent the outside drying out before the middle is cooked.

Bake the mix for 90 minutes at 180˚ C, or gas mark 4. The mix will feel firm when pressed, and a knife inserted in the centre will come out clean. If not, turn the oven down to about 10o˚C, re- cover the top carefully and return to oven for 20 + mins.

It can be pre-cooked, then sliced and re heated in a microwave on the day.
Serve with the tastiest gravy you can make. A dash of red wine or sherry will jazz it up nicely!