As it is already December next week, I thought it was high time I posted a Christmas recipe. I love Christmas food, especially all the side dishes, but it can be difficult to find a suitable centre piece. So allow me to present to you my beetroot wellington. Tender beetroot surrounded by a mixture of sage roasted butternut squash, pecan nuts, and mushrooms, all wrapped in delicious puff pastry. The best thing about this wellington, is that you can make it up to 24 hours in advance. You can then have time to enjoy your Christmas company and just bake the wellington an hour before you sit down to eat. I served mine with a little wilted spinach and a quick herby yoghurt sauce. However on the big day I will go all out and serve the wellington with as many side dishes as I can. For some ideas check out my Sweet miso roasted Brussel sprouts with almond ‘parmesan’, Roasted Red Cabbage and Butternut squash with a miso-mustard dressing, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Crispy Kale with a Tahini and Orange Dressing and my Roasted Sesame Carrots and Parsnips.
Beetroot wellington – serves around 6 to 8 people
around 6 medium size beetroot, cooked (see note below)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
a small bunch of fresh sage finely chopped
2 shallots, finely sliced
300 g mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, crushed
0.75 dl/ 75 ml plant based cream (I used Planti creamy cooking with French herbs)
75 g fresh breadcrumbs
100 g pecans, chopped
600g block vegan friendly puff pastry
plain flour, to dust
oat milk for brushing
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Drizzle the squash with a few good glugs of olive oil, sprinkle with half the chopped sage, season with salt and pepper, before mixing well. Tip onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 mins until tender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the shallots for 10 mins until tender. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 15 mins to remove most of their moisture.
Add the garlic and remaining sage and fry for a minute, before adding the plant based cream. Tip in the breadcrumbs, pecans and the cooked squash. Add a good grating of fresh nutmeg and season well. Set aside to cool.
Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to a roughly 40 x 50cm rectangle. Before placing on a piece of baking paper. Spoon the mushroom and squash mixture down the length of the pastry, leaving a good border on all sides (you want the mushroom/ squash mix to be roughly four times as wide as your beetroot). Brush the borders with a little oat milk.
Put the beetroots in a line down the middle of the squash mixture – they should be touching. Carefully fold over one side of the pastry over the beetroot, using the baking paper to help, so that the squash mix encircles the beetroot and the milk brushed borders join.
Crimp along all the borders to seal in the filling and trim away any excess pastry, the crimped border should be a few centimetres wide.
Chill for at least 30 mins, or up to 24 hrs.
When you are ready to cook, brush the whole wellington with oat milk and use a sharp knife to score a pattern in the pastry.
Bake in the oven at 200C for 45-50 mins until golden brown and puffed up. Allow to rest for ten minutes before serving so it is easier to carve.
If you want to make the herb sauce, simply whiz up a good handful of your favourite herbs in a small blender with a little plant based yoghurt/ creme fraiche.
Note: it is perfectly fine to use shop bought precooked beetroot for this recipe (although not the pickled kind). Alternatively I steamed my beetroot whole with skins on until just tender and a skewer could easily be inserted into the centre. I then cooled and peeled the beetroot before use.