Festive Roast

By Mary McCartney From the book At My Table
Festive vegetarian Christmas nut roast recipe from Mary McCartney's At My Table

I’ve worked on this recipe over the years and feel it makes a tasty centrepiece for a roast dinner. You can prepare the veggie roast mix the day before and keep it chilled in the fridge. It goes well with roast vegetables and all the traditional trimmings, with a generous pouring of gravy over the top. I suggest you have a dollop of horseradish sauce on the side, too.This recipe serves six to eight, so double the quantities and cook in two loaf tins if you are making it for a larger gathering. I like to have some left over so I can use it in a sandwich the next day with some Thousand Island dressing and crisp lettuce leaves.

For how many? Serves 6-8


  • 50g raw cashew nuts, chopped small
  • 50 raw almonds, chopped small
  • 50g sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tamari (for gluten-free option) or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the tin
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200ml tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 160g cooked puy lentils (or tinned aduki beans, drained)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 200g cooked white quinoa
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, or 1 tablespoon Marmite
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour (for gluten-free option) or plain or spelt flour
  • 50g dried cranberries (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 23 x 13cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper, then brush a little oil on the paper too. 

In a dry, heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat, toast the chopped cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds for 2–3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the tamari or soy sauce and toss to coat the nuts. Remove from the heat and tip the toasted nuts and seeds into a large mixing bowl. Set aside and leave to cool.

In the same frying pan, heat the oil and gently fry the onions and celery for 10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, grated carrot and cooked lentils (or aduki beans), mix well and sauté for a couple of minutes, then tip into the bowl containing the toasted nuts and mix together. Add the herbs and the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well combined. Season with black pepper to taste.

When you are ready to cook, transfer your mixture to the prepared loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a baking tray. Peel off the greaseproof paper, then put the roast back into the oven for a further 15 minutes until golden and cooked through. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing – this will allow it to firm up slightly and make it easier to slice. Place on a serving dish and cut into slices with a sharp carving or bread knife.

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