Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nut Ring Loaf

OK, Liv, this one's for you:

Nut Ring Loaf
(meat-free, corn-free, potato-free, grain-free)
(with modifications: vegan, gluten-free)

When I needed a dairy-free vegetarian recipe that would feel a bit "Christmassy" or "Thanksgiving-y" this one fit the bill.  It is a bit heavy on the mushrooms (which means my husband won't touch it) but the flavours are right for a Thanksgiving feast.  In time, I'll figure out a substitution to cut out or reduce the mushrooms. 

The recipe is from Simply In Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.  This cookbook gets a lot of use in our house.  Simply In Season is chalk full of recipes divided by season, with an emphasis on local 'in season' produce.  Each page has a little tidbit about smart food consumption (how to support local farming, what fair trade is) or a reflection on the pleasures of community-based growing, cooking, and eating.  Many recipes have dairy, cheese, butter, or meat, but I have found that most of those are easily modified to vegetarian or vegan.  The recipes that we've tried have all been great and have led to me focus a bit more on seasonal vegetables in my kitchen.

For now my only modifications are that I cook it in a Corningware casserole dish instead of a ring mold, and I use gluten-free flour.  I have yet to substitute flax seed for the eggs to make it vegan.  To make this substitution,  mix 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed (buy it ground, or use an old coffee grinder) with 1 Tbsp (and no more than 2-3 Tbsp of cold water).  Mix it like a wall-painter mixes Plaster of Paris: add water gradually and mix to a thick paste.  This equals one egg.  Double for the nut ring loaf.  Alternatively you could use a commercial egg replacer like PaneRiso Egg Replacer from the grocery store, though it contains cornstarch and potato starch.

This loaf goes great with stuffed acorn squash from the original 1977 Moosewood cookbook.  I'll post these recipes soon.

So, without further adieu, here it is:


Nut Ring Loaf
(meat-free, corn-free, potato-free, grain-free)
(with modifications: vegan, gluten-free)

Onion-Celery Sauce
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
5 stalks celery
1 Tbsp flour (we use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose gluten-free)
1 1/4 cups of white wine or broth
In a large saucepan saute onion in 2 Tbsp oil until soft, 4-5 minutes.  Add celery and saute for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle on flour.  Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring.  Add wine or broth.  Cook and stir 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Almond-Apple Mixture
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds (ground)
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 apple (grated)
2 eggs (or make it vegan with ground flax seed and water, or egg replacer)
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Combine in a large bowl.  Stir in the onion-celery sauce.  Set aside.

Mushroom Filling
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
5 cups mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 1/4 cups walnuts (chopped)
In separate saucepan saute onion in 2 tsp oil until soft, 4-5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lightly oil a Corningware casserole or an 850 ml ring mold.  The authors suggest lining it with parchment paper --I have not done this, but rather have opted to serve it directly from the casserole dish.  Spoon 1/3 of the creamy almond-apple mixture, add mushroom filling, then cover with remaining almond-apple mixture.  Bake at 375F for 50-55 minutes.  Cool in ring mold for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish.


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