Sunday 20 April 2008

A Neb at Nut Roast – the Round Up

Back in March I challenged my readers to have a neb at nutroast (see this post for more nut roast info). The response was a mixture of interest, curiosity and confusion. It seems there are many bloggers who have not encountered the lovely nut roast.

I am pleased to report that 14 nut roasts were sent to me for this event. In addition I made 3 over the period so we have a total of 17 nut roasts of many shapes and flavours (or 16 nut roasts and one imposter!). It is what I had hoped for. I gave quite you a reason to partake of the joys of the nut roast and in return I received a wealth of creativity and innovation. It delighted me to read some of the dialogue around nut roasts in the blogosphere. Finally I don’t feel like the only person in the world in love with nut roast.

Not everyone professed undying love for the nut roast. Quite a few commented quite reasonably that it would not be an everyday dish. But when you see the variety, I hope it will inspire you to cook it occasionally, especially when you want a special vegetarian meal.

I was delighted to see example of roasts that I have only dreamt of trying. Nut roasts were presented in puff pastry, in muffin sizes, stuffed, and panfried in slices. Ingredients I have never encountered in a nut roast were also on display, such as quinoa, spinach, pistachio, flaxseeds, gruyere cheese and shitake mushrooms, plus useful nutritional information and wonderful colour. Something for everyone! Here are the entries in the order in which I received them.

1 Mushroom Nut Roast - Culinary Bazaar, California USA
Dhivya was no newcomer to nut roast. She shared a lot of useful nutritional information about heavenly brazil nuts which she used in her recipe. Her nut roast looks delicious with a drizzle of tomato sauce. Her description of it as sinfully rich and addictive sounds spot on! And she wisely warns that you can certainly have too much of a good thing which is why she does not make nut roasts too often!

2 Cheese and Nut Roast - Nourish Me in Melbourne Australia
Lucy made a variation on Deborah Madison’s nut roast recipe. Her use of wild rice, shitake and porcini sounds a bit more exotic than the usual British stodge! But Lucy was doubtful about the merits of a dish with so much cheese and nuts. She ate it with a daub of tomato and basil sauce and was then ready for a truckload of salads and veggies. However, it is not her first nut roast so Lucy is open to others.

3. Cheesy Nut Loaf - Green Gourmet Giraffe, Melbourne Australia
This nut roast is an old recipe that I have tried a few times. In addition to nuts it is full of rice, cheese and vegetables. On this occasion I enjoyed it as an alternative to my mum’s roast lamb when my family got together for Easter Sunday lunch. It was served with my mum’s dazzling array of vegetables – roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, cauliflower cheese and peas.

4 Nutloaf with Shitake Mushrooms - Confessions of a Food Nazi from Melbourne Australia
Another Outspoken Female reminisced about her happy Christmas dinners of nutloaves in London many years ago. She kindly drew deep into her memories to come up with a pleasing nut roast recipe made with tofu and shitake mushrooms, served with roast vegies. I love her relaxed way of measuring the ingredients which will appeal to others who take quantities with a pinch of salt. Check out her wonderful retro tableware for that old-school 1970s nut roast experience.

5. Pistachio Cashew and Spinach Nut Roast, Little Bits, Pacific North West
LisaRene moved on from nut balls to discover their big brother the nut roast. A newcomer to nut roast, she was adventurous with her recipe and had no regrets. She also used tofu and lots of spices. The photos of the slices show a fantastic brilliant green loaf which was so good LisaRene ate it plain without any sauce. It sounds as though her guests might have some delicious nut roasts served up to them in the future.

6 Fantastically Mushroomy Walnut Roast - Munchkin Mail, Warwickshire, UK
Lysy was unexpectedly smitten by nut roast. She overcame her bad experiences in being served nut roast and her dislike of nuts to make a magnificent and nutritious nut roast. Lysy discussed the nutritional merits of walnuts and also added lots of yummy seeds. She served it with sweet potato chips, pear and leaf salad and a bit of broccoli. I particularly love her instructions at the end of her recipe – ‘serve and enthuse’!

7 Quinoa Nut Roast - Addicted to Cooking, Auburn, Alabama, USA
I was excited to get Marie-Lies’ submission as it was the first with quinoa I had seen. She used flaxseeds to make it vegan as well as gluten free. She served it with what I think are vegetarian Native Foods ‘chicken’ nuggets and sweet and sour sauce. Her mum and boyfriend ate it with her and all found the result pleasing. Marie-Lies says she will make it again but will be experimenting with different combinations.

8 Parsnip Nut Roast - Green Gourmet Giraffe, Melbourne Australia
This nut roast I made was full of mashed parsnips which gave it a distinctive taste. I substituted soy flour for the egg and was pleased to find it was quite easy to veganise the recipe. Deciding it was impossible to be simple with nut roasts I served it with a British-inspired accompaniments of mashed potato, gravy, sprouts and little Yorkshire puddings.

9 Stuffed White Nut Roast - Where’s the Beef? Melbourne Australia
Cindy dusted off an old recipe that had caused her grief in the past. Nut roasts have a way of sticking to the loaf tin or the paper, so she has found it necessary to line the tin with well-greased baking paper. Wise advice indeed! She was ably assisted by her partner in crime (so to speak) Michael, who helped with all the chopping and sautéing required. The result was a beautiful golden crusted loaf (which wasn’t afraid to part company with the paper) with a parsley and lemon stuffing. Sounds worth the perseverance! And as you will see from the photo, Cindy also enjoyed leftovers sliced in a sandwich.

10 Mushroom Nut Roast in Puff Pastry - Lisa’s Kitchen, London Canada
Despite being a beans and grain kind of girl, Lisa did some research and come up with a delightful looking nut roast wrapped in puff pastry. She mixed her nuts with mushrooms, quinoa, sundried tomatoes and, of course, loads of spices, and served it with a salad and salsa. Although she does not usually serve nuts as a main dinner feature, Lisa was pleasantly surprised with the results. It looks superb.

11 Michaelmas Loaf - Green Gourmet Giraffe, Melbourne Australia
The final nut roast from Yours Truly. I delved into the history books to find out about the history of the nut roast and found it was indeed alive and kicking (to coin a phrase) at the turn of the century. To complete the research, I made a nut roast from a 1910 cookbook which was moulded and basted to look a bit more like roast meat than my usual ones. It was a bit nuttier and drier than the nut roasts I am accustomed to but with some gravy, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin and roast peas, it did make me feel like I was eating one of my mum’s roast dinner!

12 Nut Roast Extraordinaire - Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Toronto, Canada
After being won over by the nut roast earlier this year, Ricki was eager to participate in this event. She is eloquent in proclaiming undying affection for the ‘meal in a brick’. Even her carnivorous HH enjoyed it immensely. Her nut roast was chock full of vegies, herbs, wine, oats, cilantro (fresh coriander) and flaxseeds, as well as brazil nuts and cashews. Served with a kale salad, it had lots of nutritional benefits and looks wonderful.

13 Walnut and Mushroom Roast - Eat Me, Delicious, Vancouver Canada
Ashley was intrigued by this ‘mysterious loaf’. She thought she was embarking on a new experience until her mum reminded her that she had made one years ago. That gave me a laugh. Nevertheless Ashley was delighted with the results of this herby tomatoey nut roast and was happy to eat it just with some steamed broccoli. It is a recipe I have blogged before but I didn’t manage to create such a lovely rosy hue. She is now planning to make nut roast for future Thanksgiving meals and anytime meals.

14 Mini Herbed Tomato Nut Roasts – Jugalbandi, North Western USA
Bee and Jai also made nut roast full of tomatoes and herbs but they also added gruyere cheese, roasted red peppers and nutritional yeast. The herbs came from their garden and included the intriguing sounding pineapple sage. Their nut roast was cooked in muffin moulds and looked stunning served on slices of tomato. I liked the advice in the recipe that the batter will not rise like a cake. Something that I take for granted but would be helpful information for novices. It is also worth reading Bee’s story of her university serving such bad nut roast that she preferred the kangaroo stew. Glad that she liked this one more!

15 Nut Roast - Lost in the Kitchen, Belgium
Joanna overcame her suspicious of nut roast, despite the mixture smelling like something meat eaters such as herself would not want for dinner. Once it came out of the oven she loved it so much that she was looking forward to going home for the leftovers the next night. Hers was full of vegetables, cheese, oats and Worcestershire sauce. It didn’t brown as much as she wanted, so she panfried it in herb butter and served it with apple sauce. Sounds wonderful.

16 Cumin, Carrot and Cashew Nut Roast - A Wee Bit of Cooking, Scotland
Wendy made wee individual nut roasts in ramekins (now why haven’t I thought of that!). They look cute and shapely, served them on a bed of simple green leaves. This was the first nut roast Wendy has made, despite a love of nuts. She found it absolutely delicious and is now looking forward to ‘more nutty roasty experiment’.

17 Orange and Brazil Nut Loaf - Tinned Tomatoes, Scotland
Here is the imposter! Holler was full of good intentions and went out to buy the ingredients for her nut roast, having made her first one some months ago. But somewhere something went wrong. She refused to be held hostage by a blog event and followed her whims. Instead of a savoury nut roast, Holler sent me a sweet orange and nut cake! Tut tut tut! I have included it because I know she has her heart in the right place and because it illustrates just what a nut roast isn’t. It isn’t sweet, it isn’t airy and it isn’t a cake. Full marks to Holler though for finding a cake that has a resemblance to a nut roast! And it does look scrumptious.

Thank you to everyone who participated. (Please let me know if I missed anyone.) I feel inspired anew by all the fabulous versions of the nut roast. I am sure I am not alone in wanting to try out these nut roasts very soon.

Update: for more nut roasts, go to my Neb at Nut Roast post where I am keeping an ongoing list of the ones I try.


  1. What a wonderful theme! I have been waiting with bated breath for the round-up! Many thanks for hosting - thought-provoking and nicely done.



  2. This is a brilliant round-up Johanna!

    Having never made a nut roast before I really wanted to take part, but in the end I had a real block of the imagination when it came to coming up with my own version. At least now I can try a few of these ones out

  3. thank you, johanna for helping me fall in love with nut roast again. a couple of the recipes here have been bookmarked. we will be trying them soon. this was a great event.

  4. Fabulous round up, Johanna! So many that I want to try!

  5. I feel ashamed now Johanna! I thought it better to get an an entry in, than be too late :(
    I like all the other entries though! Especially the idea of making mini nut loaves!

  6. Johanna,
    What a fabulous roundup and turnout for this event! I'm feeling overwhelmed with all these delicious nutroasts to try. . . will be eating nutroast for the next while, I'm guessing!

    Thanks for putting this together and getting the word out there. :)

  7. Great stuff, darls. Thanks for such a great rpund-up!

    Well, I'm sure to find a wealth of deliciousness in here.

    And with a long weekend coming up, there will be at least one made to celebrate.

  8. I am very eager to visit each and every nut roast! It's like nut roast heaven with 17 different vegetarian recipes to view and drool over :) Thank you for putting together this roundup!

  9. hey Johanna!

    That was an excellent round up. Your effort shows :). thanks for compiling a delicious spread.

  10. Wonderful roundup Johanna (forgive me for not making one on time :*( ) I will certainly bookmark and choose a recipe to try at some point.

    You've been awarded 'E' details on blog. :)

  11. thanks Smita - glad you enjoyed the round up

    thanks Sophie - the round up really does show great variety - visiting these posts will show you the different approaches

    thanks Bee - I am so glad you have realised nut roast is better than kangaroo stew :-) (actually I am biased because I have never had kangaroo stew)

    Thanks Wendy - no looking back now - nut roasts are perfect for cold scottish weather

    thanks Holler - I loved the mini nut roasts too. And don't feel bad about your entry - it is really nice to feel others are supporting me but I know from experience that what you want to make is not always what a blog event is about - I thought yours really did help make a point and inject a bit of humour in the post!

    thanks Ricki - these nut roast ideas will keep you going for some time

    thanks Lucy - a wealth of deliciousness indeed! And yes long weekends are perfect for nut roasts!

    thanks LisaRene - wouldn't nut roast heaven smell fantastic!

    Thanks Dhivya - writing it up took longer than I had hoped because the net connection chose that moment to slow right down but I did enjoy revisiting all those wonderful nut roasts

    thanks Pixie - no problems if you didn't get a chance to do your nut roast - now you have lots of other recipes and advice to help you think about one. And thanks for the award - very kind of you.

  12. Fantastic event and round-up!

  13. What a great event - thanks so much for organising it! You are truly an ambassador for the nut roast. I am keen to try more combinations now...

  14. Johanna, I really want to apologize for not getting around to making a nut roast for your event! It really was on my radar screen... then, too late, I realized that it probably wasn't the type of adventure that was appropriate for a weeknight. However, I will definitely keep it in mind for an upcoming weekend, and will let you know what I think of it!

  15. thanks Ann

    thanks Lysy - I like the sound of being an Ambassador for Nut Roast!

    thanks Neen - no pressure - really! Blog events should be fun not mandatory. But I would love to hear if you do get a nut roast posted - put the url in the comments here so others can link to it too!

  16. Now I have a great many nut roasts to try in my kitchen! They all sound and look delicious. I am trying to eat less meat and more grains, etc. and these will be great. Nice event Johanna!

  17. These all sound great and what a lot of variations. I'm longing to try some out. Thanks for the recipes

  18. I've made many and strangely non of them are on this list! I only just logged in otherwise I'd have let you have a couple of others but the date has closed now.

  19. Thanks Deb - glad the list is helpful

    thanks Katie - there seems to be no end to the variety of nut roasts

    thanks muffin - do you have a blog where I can see your nut roasts as I would be interested in hearing about them!

  20. Wonderful event and round up! I can't wait to try out some of these.

  21. thanks Ashley - hope you blog them when you make them as I am hoping to see more nut roasts around the blogosphere :-)

  22. I have vaguely heard of these, but never had seen them .What a great event idea.


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