Create A Showstopping Vegetarian Roast

06/December/2016
Jess Spiro

Findus Vegetables
So, you’ve got a vegetarian coming for dinner this festive season and you’re not sure what to serve them? You’re not alone. For years poor vegetarians have been subject to sad store bought quiches, bought last minute, or are forced to put together a plate purely made from sides. Those days are over and it’s time to give those veggies their own main, one they can get excited about that will even tempt the meat eaters at the table.

This vegetarian roast is a meat-free play on the ‘vegducken’ that did the rounds on social media last year, which was originally based on the nightmarish turducken that was unleashed on the world. It’s basically carrots stuffed inside a courgette, stuffed inside a butternut with lots of creamy spinach, mushroom and feta filling. If you think it’s a lot of work, it’s really not. We run through how to create your own impressive vegetarian roast!

Festive Vegetarian Roast with Brown Butter Sauce

Stuffing
50 g butter
½ onion, finely chopped
salt
250 g portabellini mushrooms, finely chopped
50 g baby spinach, washed, dried and roughly chopped
40 g feta, crumbled

Butternut
1 evenly sized butternut, washed and dried
salt
1 large courgette (one that will fit nicely inside the cavity of the butternut)
olive oil
5-6 Findus Baby Carrots
50 g pecan nuts, roasted

Brown Butter
¾ C (180 g) butter
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper

Stuffing
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat until the onions are softened throughout. Add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes until cooked through. Remove from the heat and add the spinach, leave to wilt for a minute or two. Check the seasoning and place in a colander or sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain off. When ready to stuff the butternut, add the feta and mix well to combine.

Butternut
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

First things first, get your butternut, wash it and dry it. Then carefully halve it and scoop out the seeds.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast

Then, using a small paring knife, roughly mark the outline you’re going to scoop to – you want to leave about two fingers’ width. Then, using a spoon and a little force, scrape out the filling of the butternut ensuring you leave enough of a border to keep the roast secure.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Keep scooping until you have a nice even shaped cavity. Trim the ends off your courgette and check that it fits snugly in the cavity.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
.Halve the courgette and very gently remove the seeds with a teaspoon.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast

Press about a handful of the stuffing into the 2 halves of the butternut, seasoning as you go. Make sure you don’t overfill the butternut at this point, you want to leave enough space for the courgette.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast

Then place the courgette in, pressing it down gently. Secure the gaps between the courgette and the butternut with a little extra stuffing if necessary.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast

Place a little amount of stuffing down the canal of the courgette and then place your Findus Baby Carrots on top of that filling.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Lastly, carefully sprinkle over the chopped pecans then carefully (and quickly!) place the two halves together. Secure with twine, place on a roasting tray and then oil and and season.You may need to use a couple of large stainless steel serving spoons to wedge the butternut and to keep it from rolling over on the tray.
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Create a showstopping vegetarian roast
Now it’s ready for roasting. Place in the oven to roast for about 1 and a half hours to two hours, checking after 1 hour that it’s not browning too quickly (if it is, turn the oven temp down to about 170 ºC to allow it to finish cooking through). The roast is done when you can insert a skewer or toothpick right through to the centre of the butternut. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.

Brown Butter Sauce
While the roast is cooking, make the brown butter sauce.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and increase the heat, whisking as it melts. The butter will foam up, then subside and begin to caramelise and you’ll be able to smell a nutty aroma. Cook for a few more minutes to allow it to turn a deep nut brown, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Watch out for spitting when you add the lemon juice.

To Serve
Use a serrated knife to slice the butternut and drizzle with brown butter.

Create a showstopping vegetarian roast

For other vegetarian dish inspiration click HERE.