A Brazil nut roast may seem like the routine vegetarian main alternative, but this recipe is not one to be missed. With the fresh flavours of parsley, thyme and lemon, and the heat of chilli, this Brazil nut roast is a guaranteed crowd pleaser – even for non vegetarians. Brazil nuts are the best source in the world of selenium, which is crucial for stabilising our moods and fighting inflammation. They are also a good source of protein and healthy fats which are an important part of a vegetarian diet. This roast can be served with gravy as a vegetarian main, alongside roast meat as an alternative to stuffing, and leftovers are great in a sandwich.
- 200g Brazil nuts, chopped
- 30g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 100g mature Cheddar cheese
- 2 medium eggs
- 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable gravy, to serve, optional
- You will also need:
- 500g loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Reserve about 2 tablespoons nuts and spread rest out on a baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they start to turn golden, then remove from oven.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes over a medium heat until it starts to soften, then add the carrot, celery and chilli to the pan and cook for a further 5-7 minutes until the vegetables soften. Tip them into a bowl.
Reserve about 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese. Add the rest to the vegetables, along with the nuts, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and lemon rind. Season well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle over the reserved nuts and cheese. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown and just firm to the touch in the centre.
Remove loaf from oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning it out and slicing to serve with gravy, if you like.
The loaf may be frozen before baking. Wrap prepared loaf in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to 1 month. Defrost before baking.