Suzanne was our neighbour before she returned to the UK and after a long absence, she was coming on holiday. I was looking forward to us having a good old gossip because in all the years of living here, while I have never had a bad neighbour, she was the one that felt like ‘family’. She worked long hours when she lived on the island and sometimes if I had been cooking something suitable for a vegetarian, I would hand a portion across the back garden wall so she had a meal just to pop into her microwave.
As she was coming on a Sunday I decided on a Sunday roast, leaving the meat off her plate. Then on second thoughts I checked my cupboard and noticed I had enough to make a nut roast. So that day the three of us did without the meat and had the following
A drizzle of sunflower oil
1 grated carrot
1 stick celery chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 small tin red peppers
2 oz mushrooms chopped
4 oz breadcrumbs
1 dessertspoon tomato puree
3 oz almonds (but mixed nuts are fine if this is what you have)
1 teaspoon oregano
- Line the base and sides of a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and chopped celery until beginning to soften. At this point add the chopped garlic and finely chopped mushrooms and continue cooking.
- Stir in the drained and diced red pepper and the grated carrot and cook for about 3 minutes then add 1 tsp dried oregano and cook for just a minute.
- Mix 1 dessertspoon of tomato purée with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to loosen and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry. Set aside to cool.
- Finally, stir in the fresh breadcrumbs, chopped nuts, the lightly beaten large egg and a pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Mix well then spoon into the prepared tin and press the surface firmly down.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until firm when pressed gently.
- Allow the loaf to cool slightly in the tin then turn out onto a serving board or plate. Remove the baking paper and cut into slices and serve.
- Or cook in advance and chill which makes it slightly easier to slice.