A deceptively simple recipe that makes an impressive centrepiece, as well as tasting very good.
Serve with a rich gravy, roasties and whatever vegetables you like.
Thanks again to Rose Elliot, the Goddess of Veggie food, for the lovely recipe from which this is adapted!
2 onions, chopped quite fine
1 piece of celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
Half a tin of unsweetened chestnut purée (a full tin is 435g so you want just over 200g) OR the equivalent of whole cooked chestnuts, mashed up (the ready-cooked vacuum-packed variety are widely available).
Alternatively, combine puree and chopped whole chestnuts for a mixed texture. Merchant Gourmet brand is widely available and sells both types
1-2 tbsp shoyu/tamari soya sauce or 1 tbsp dark miso
½ tsp allspice or ¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp brandy
½ oz fresh soft breadcrumbs – wholemeal or white
Salt and lots of freshly-ground black pepper
1 sheet of vegan ready-rolled puff pastry, eg Jus Rol, Sainsbury's or Tesco (rectangular, not round)
Unsweetened plant milk to glaze, eg soya or almond
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°/Gas Mark 8.
2. Fry the onions and celery in the oil in a large saucepan, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms, cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Mix in the chestnut purée, soya sauce/miso, breadcrumbs, brandy and seasoning until everything is well amalgamated.
4. Unroll the pastry from the packet and place carefully on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Pile the chestnut mixture lengthways down the middle third of the pastry.
5. Make diagonal cuts 1cm/½ inch apart on the pastry on either side of the chestnut mixture. Fold these up alternately to make a lattice covering it - see the photograph!
6. Trim the ends – you could make leaves from these left-over pieces and stick on top with water. Brush the pastry with soya milk.
7. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.