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Deliciously Ella’s Herbed Nut Roast

The ideal veggie option to share with friends for a long, lazy Sunday lunch. It’s lovely and hearty and full of flavour from the pine nuts and cashews to the nutmeg, garlic, sage, tarragon, garlic and parsley.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the tin
50g pine nuts
75g cashews
1 celery stick, finely chopped
200g butternut squash, peeled and
finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
2 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped
fresh parsley
1 tablespoon roughly chopped
fresh tarragon
good few gratings of nutmeg
25g oats
75g brown rice flour
½ tbsp milled (ground) chia seeds

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C). Oil a 23cm-long loaf tin, or line it with baking parchment. Place the pine nuts and cashews on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They should look golden and give off a toasty aroma when you take them out. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the celery, squash and carrot in the oil with lots of salt and pepper. When the celery has started to turn translucent, add the garlic for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add the herbs and nutmeg and stir well.

Place half the nuts in a food processor with the oats and whizz up as fine as they will go.

Coarsely chop the remaining nuts, so they aren’t too chunky, then add these and the ground nut mixture to the pan. Add the flour and chia seeds and mix well.
Press into the prepared tin, cover with foil and roast for 35 minutes. Take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave, in the tin, on a cooling rack, for 15 minutes (it will still be nice and hot). Take it out of the tin and cut into slices; be gentle, as it can crumble.

You need roughly the top part of a butternut squash for this (the bit from the stalk to the bulge), so save the rest for later or use it as a side, roasted or mashed. Also, you can roast the squash seeds with a drizzle of oil and seasoning for 10 minutes, then sprinkle them over sautéed greens.

Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella with Friends by Ella Mills, published by Yellow Kite, £25

Photography by Clare Winfield