Nutloaf has a reputation for being a bit boring and rather than excite your palate with some fancy reinvention of this veggie standard I’m actually going to give you a recipe for plain old boring nutloaf. Why? Because this is tasty, wholesome and it is (very easily) made with ingredients that most people have to hand – a perfect recipe for the day after Halloween. Let’s save the fancy reinventions for another, more energized, day.
The health benefits of this nutloaf are that it is high in fibre, has a lot of good fat and contains lots of protein. Common to most nuts are minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, selenium, manganese and copper. In this nutloaf I have used walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and some pine nuts (which are really seeds – but then aren’t most of nuts seeds?…). You can try making it with whatever nuts you have handy, but use raw nuts not roasted ones. Be aware that if you use peanuts (which are actually legumes), the whole loaf will taste strongly of peanuts.
By the way, I am almost afraid to point this out as I’m worried that just by doing so I will somehow make this awful thing happen to me, there is apparently something called Pine Nut Syndrome or Pine Mouth and if it happens to you all the food that you eat for 2 weeks or so leaves a bitter after-taste. It really does sound like the result of some medieval witch’s curse, doesn’t it? And Halloween is only supposed to last one night…
- 150g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 50 g walnuts, chopped
- 50g cashew nuts, chopped
- 25g hazelnuts, chopped
- 25g pine nuts
- good pinch herbes de Provence
- pinch dried oregano
- pinch dried sage (optional – will give loaf a bread-stuffing taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 8-10 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 celery stick, minced
- 2 eggs, whisked
- oil or butter for greasing and frying
- Turn the oven on to 180 C.
- Place the breadcrumbs, herbs and nuts(including the pine nuts) in a deep bowl and mix around. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Fry the mushrooms in a little bit of oil or butter. Stir in the crush garlic and sprinkle over a little bit of salt and pepper. Fry the mushrooms until most of their moisture has evaporated but they are not completely dry. Stir these into the bread and nut mix.
- Add the minced carrot, celery and onion to the frying pan and fry for just a couple of minutes, stirring them around the pan. This is just to soften them up a little. Stir these into the bread-nut-mushroom mix.
- Stir in the whisked eggs. The mix should be binding together well.
- Grease a small loaf tin and add in the nutloaf mix. Cut either diagonal or horizontal lines across the top of the loaf – it will make serving it easier. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.