This weekend I had my mini Christmas with my fella, before we go to our homes for actual Christmas. I took the opportunity to recipe test these sublime nut roasts in advance of the big day, and they came out so well. They are simple to make but are really hearty, and the occasional sweet, jammy figginess is such a treat against slightly bitter walnuts and fragrant rosemary. I made individual ones in a muffin tin, because Christmas dinner at my house tends to mean a struggle for the oven. Baby roasts only take 15-20 minutes to bake, and you can easily pop them out of their tins, so none of that laborious slicing nonsense.You can make the mixture a day ahead and just bake on the day, or even bake them the day before and let them warm up in the oven for five minutes before serving. I boiled the lentils ahead of time, but you could also use half a tin of cooked green lentils if you prefer.
Makes 4-5 baby roasts- you may want to double these up!
Ready in 35 minutes
- 120g green lentils
- 1 bread roll or slice of bread (brown/wholemeal rather than white if you have it)
- 1 small leek
- Half a sweet potato
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 4 dried figs
- 50g walnuts
- 50g mixed nuts/seeds of your chioce (I used brazils and pumpkin seeds)
- Boil the lentils in salted water for 15 minutes until softened.
- In the meantime, put a large frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil. In a food processor, finely chop the leek and sweet potato. Tip into the frying pan and sautee for 5-7 minutes until softened (you want the potato to be completely edible at this point).
- Place the lentils, veg, rosemary, bread, and mixed nuts in the food processor and blitz until well combined and the nuts are broken down.
- Chop the figs into 1 cm pieces, and crumble the walnuts. Stir into the rest of the mix with a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Lightly grease a muffin win with olive or coconut oil, and pack the roast mixture tightly into each hole.
- Bake at gas mark 6 for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned on top.
- Serve with all the trimmings.