Make this year the best holiday season yet with these simple and delicious nut patties. Pair with a homemade twist on classic cranberry sauce, by adding fresh orange juice to really impress your guests. Suitable as a tempting starter or in addition to your main vegan event. These tasty bites are a delicious addition to your festive menu.
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
- 200g mixed nuts (1)
- 50g ground almonds
- 3 tsp peanut butter (2)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, or herbs of your choice (3)
- 200ml vegan stock, cooled
- 130g fresh breadcrumbs
- Zest of one large orange (4)
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic. Fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil for a couple of minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Use a food processor or a pestle and mortar to grind the nuts to a sandy consistency.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, using your hands to squash everything together into a firm ball. Cut the ball in half, then do it again, and again, to make 16 more-or-less equal-sized pieces (see note). Shape each piece into a small disc and arrange on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 30 minutes, turning half way through the time.
- Serve immediately, garnished with the fruity sauce.
Why not invite the family into the kitchen to see how simple a vegan festive dinner really is to make. Whether you prepare them on the day or before, these nut patties are a low-cost option that will leave you with time to enjoy the celebrations whilst they bake for in the oven for 30 minutes.
(1) Buy a bag of mixed nuts – make sure they’re not roasted or salted, or otherwise flavoured, and that the mixture doesn’t contain chocolate or fruit. If you buy from a serve-yourself shop you can vary the mixture to suit your taste. You can also use up whatever is in your cupboards.
(2) Smooth or chunky peanut butter both work, as would any other sort of nut butter if you have it to hand. If you prefer, tahini could be used instead.
(3) Rosemary has a seasonal flavour but you could choose any fresh or dried herbs, if you have a garden or herb pots use what you have.
(4) You’ll be using the juice for the sauce.
(5) Maybe 16 isn’t the right number to divide evenly between your guests – if you are feeding six, you could make 18 balls and serve three each. If you don’t need 16, rather than make fewer, bigger ones (which may take longer to heat through or break during cooking), shape the full 16 and freeze some. Open freeze them, uncooked, on a freezer-proof plate or a tray, transfer to a bag or a box to store, and allow to defrost in the fridge overnight before cooking. After cooking, they can be served hot or cold. They could be good with pasta or in a pitta pocket.
- Juice of 1 large orange
- A small jar of ready-made cranberry sauce
- Shop-bought cranberry sauce is quite thick and firm if you use it straight from the jar.
- To loosen it into a pourable, glossy sauce, warm the juice of one large orange in a small saucepan.
- Add the cranberry sauce, spoon by spoon, stirring well, until you have enough sauce to decorate every serving of nut patties.
- Remove from the heat and serve warm.
Festive Mixed Roasted Vegetables
Some vegetables take longer to roast than others, but if you stick to dense root vegetables, winter varieties of squash and Brussels sprouts, everything should come together at the same time. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, shallots, parsnips, turnips, swede, beetroot, celeriac, pumpkin and any sort of winter squash would work well.
To get the quantities about right, remember that 1 ‘serving’ of vegetables is generally considered to be around 80g. To serve what amounts to three ‘portions’ of vegetables per person, I would multiply 80g by 3, and then multiply that by the number of people who are eating. It’s not an exact science as the veg will lose some weight during cooking. You don’t need to limit yourself to three types of veg to achieve the weight of three portions. To feed two, you could use 100g Brussels sprouts, 150g Butternut squash, 70g of red onion and 160g of potatoes, a total of 480g, which is 240g each, which is three 80g ‘portions’ each.
If you prefer, just err on the side of generosity – the left over roasted veg can easily be converted into a Boxing Day soup, a vegan pizza topping or a vegetable crumble…
- Prep the vegetables by peeling, scrubbing or cleaning them as appropriate, and cut them into pieces around 2cm at the longest edge – it’s important not to have some pieces much bigger than others. If you are using an onion, cut it into chunky wedges rather than slicing or dicing it. If you can achieve some variety in the colours and shapes, this will make for a more attractive dish. Brussels sprouts could be left whole, potatoes cubed, red onions cut into wedges and the natural curve of the Butternut squash can be used to make fan-shaped pieces.
- Put the prepped veg into a large bowl and toss with a teaspoon or two of oil and some salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting tray and roast at 190C for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. (This is the same amount of time and oven temperature as the nut patties.)
If you’d like broccoli or peas, you can always prepare these separately – the beauty of serving this tray of roasted veg with the nut patties is that everything can go into the oven together and aside from a bit of prep time, your Christmas lunch will be done in 30 minutes in the oven with minimal work required!
Recipe development Jane Hughes
Home economist Jo Brewer
Photographer Chris Leah