Festive Vegetable Wellington
This recipe makes one large Wellington which will serve 6 people, if you are cooking for fewer people cut the Wellington in half and freeze one for later
1 pack of puff pastry or approximately 400g of homemade puff or rough puff pastry (see notes below)
500g squash (any variety)
1 tsp smoked paprika hot or sweet
A handful of sage leaves
1 bulb of garlic
Rapeseed or sunflower oil to roast
A generous grate of nutmeg
The zest of a lemon
1 pack of haloumi (omit if dairy free)
4 tbsp cranberry sauce
50g cooked Puy or brown lentils
1 egg, beaten to glaze (or milk/dairy free milk)
Preheat the oven to 200c gas mark 6
Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. If your squash is thin skinned you can leave the skin on but if it feels tough peel off the skin with a sharp peeler. Chop the squash into small cubes and place them in a roasting dish with a splash of oil and the smoked paprika. Halve the bulb of garlic and place, cut side down, on the roasting dish. Scatter the sage leaves on and roast for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then remove the garlic and crumble up the sage leaves, which should be crispy. Squeeze the soft garlic out of its skin and mash it with a fork. Add the roasted garlic and crumbled sage to the squash and roughly mash and season to taste.
While the squash is cooking you can get the other elements of the Wellington ready;
Wash the spinach and place it in a large pan with lid. Heat gently until the leaves have wilted and then drain the spinach in a sieve, running a little cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Squeeze as much water as you can put of the spinach, squeezing it between two layers of kitchen paper or a clean tea towel makes this easier. Chop the spinach and season well with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest. Set aside.
Place the walnuts on a baking tray with a little splash of olive oil and roast for 10 minutes. Allow the walnuts to cool and then place in a blender with the cooked lentils, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture, until it is well chopped, and then transfer it to a plate or board and form it into a sausage about 30cm long. Wrap this in Clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill.
Chop the Haloumi into small cubes and Cook in a dry frying pan (no oil) until the cheese browns around the edges. Set aside to cool.
On a clean surface place a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Into this place you sheet of puff pastry with the longest edges facing you. Slice off a strip of pastry about 4cm wide to use to decorate your wellington.
Spread the spinach over the pastry leaving a gap around the edges of about 4cm which is clean.
Onto the spinach place spoonfuls of the squash and then flatten these so you have an even layer. Scatter the haloumi and a few dots of cranberry sauce over the layer of spinach.
Take the walnut and lentil mixture from the fridge and remove the Clingfilm. Place this in the middle of the pastry. Carefully roll one edge of the pastry around the walnut filling and then bring the other end up so that they join together. Squeeze the two edges of the pastry together so that they are sealed and then turn the Wellington over so that this seam is at the bottom. Tuck in the two open end of the pastry neatly.
Cut some festive shapes from the piece of pastry you reserved earlier. Brush the whole Wellington with beaten egg or milk (or dairy free alternative) and press the festive pastry shapes on top, brushing the top of these with egg too.
Carefully wrap the Wellington in the sheet of greaseproof and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook the Wellington (or freeze it if you are cooking ahead) when you are ready to cook, unfold the greaseproof and lay the Wellington on the paper on a large roasting tray. If you have frozen the Wellington defrost it at room temperature overnight before cooking.
Cook the Wellington in a preheated oven at 200c/gas mark 7 for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
Serve the Wellington as a centrepiece dish, sliced at the table.
You need a rectangle of pastry to make this measuring approximately 30cm by 20cm.
You can buy a block of pastry and roll it to size or buy ready rolled. The type of pastry you buy is up to you; I always buy all butter pastry but use non butter pastry if I’m cooking for vegans.
You can make your own pastry if you like, and have the time; any rough puff or puff pastry recipe would be fine. You could also make this with Filo pastry for a lower fat version.
You can easily make this gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs and a pre bought gluten free puff pastry.