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Festive-vegetarian-roast-

A Showstopping Festive Vegetarian Roast

BY Jess Spiro

A vegetarian play on the infamous Turducken. This is much easier and much more delicious!

  • Makes : 4-6 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 40 mins |
  • Cook Time : 2:0 hours
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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 baby carrots (frozen will work perfectly)
50 g pecan nuts, roasted

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

See our step-by-step guide to making this roast HERE.

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.

Carefully split the butternut down the middle lengthways to end up with two halves. Using a spoon and a small paring knife, scoop some of the flesh out of the butternut. Be sure to leave a border of flesh, measuring about the width of your finger, and not to scoop too far down – you want to leave enough butternut to support the rest of the stuffing. You won’t need this butternut flesh for this recipe but keep it for use later in either a soup or a pasta filling. Keep scooping the butternut flesh out until you can fit the courgette snugly into the cavity. Season with a little salt.

Halve the courgette and gently scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Discard the seeds and season the cavity lightly.

Take a small handful of the filling and press into the cavity of the butternut then place one of the courgette halves on top of the filling. Secure the courgette by placing a little extra stuffing in the gap between the courgette and the rim of the butternut. Press a little of stuffing into the cavity of the courgette and then lay 2 or 3 baby carrots down the centre. Season lightly. Repeat with the other butternut half. When both halves are stuffed, sprinkle with the roasted chopped pecans and carefully put the halves together. Tie with butcher’s twine or string and place on a roasting tray. Rub a little olive oil over the outside of the butternut and sprinkle with sea salt. You may need to use a couple of large stainless steel serving spoons to wedge the butternut and to keep it from rolling over.

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.