A Seasonal Vegetable Wellington
Enjoy the perfect vegan, low carbon footprint festive dinner with our fabulous Vegetable Wellington recipe from The Vegan Book of Permaculture. I originally came across this recipe in a gorgeous little hand written and illustrated pamphlet called ‘Whole New Ways’ by Catherine and Dean Yates. Published by the Movement for Compassionate Living in the mid 1980s, it was full of recipe ideas that use a minimum of packaged or processed ingredients, and animal-free, plant based ingredients that, in theory at least, can be grown at home or within a cool temperate climate zone such as the UK, thus reducing both ‘food mile’ impacts and the ecological and footprints caused by large-scale animal centred agriculture. Furthermore the preparation required is uncomplicated, leaving plenty of time for rocking around the Christmas tree rather than being tied to the kitchen all morning (in fact I prepare mine the day before so that all I need to do is put it in the oven 40 minutes or so before it is needed). Sadly this lovely little publication is long out of print, but the Wellington has for a number of years made a majestic centrepiece for the festive dinner table in our household, and never fails to impress – well fed and not an animal dead indeed!
Chopped tomatoes or tomato paste
A good handful of mushrooms
Mixed seasonal vegetables, e.g. parsnips, carrots, leeks, potatoes, celery, kale, broccoli, etc.
2 cloves garlic
A splash of unsweetened nut (eg, almond, hazel) or soya milk
Herbs to taste (e.g. marjoram, thyme, parsley, etc.)
Finely chop onion and garlic, and fry until soft. Add ground hazelnuts, wholemeal flour, oatmeal, chopped tomatoes and herbs. Knead into a firm, moist dough. If too dry add a little water, if too wet and sticky add a little more outmeal. Roll out onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper to an oblong shape.
Chop the mushrooms, and lightly fry in oil for a few minutes until soft, then stir in a little nut or soya milk and continue to cook for a few more minutes, adding a little cornflour to thicken into a sauce.
Chop and steam mixed vegetables, when beginning to soften (but not over cooked) combine with the mushroom sauce in a bowl. Leave this mixture to cool and become firm then place these at the centre of the pastry and fold into a parcel. Seal the ends and decorate with the remaining pastry. Brush with a little oil and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes or so until browned. Serve with roasted seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a rich gravy on the side. We’re also planning to accompany ours by sampling the first bottle of Seacider we pressed back in the autumn…
Roasted Winter Vegetables
2 large beetroots
4 medium carrots
1 bulb of garlic
1 large red onion
2 medium parsnips
5-6 medium potatoes
1 large sweet potato
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Fairtrade olive oil
Cut root vegetables and onion into largish chunks or cubes. Line them on the base of a good quality baking tray with the rosemary and drizzle with olive oil. Break garlic into cloves and place amongst the veg. Don’t worry about peeling the cloves, the insides will soften as they cook and the garlic skins can be discarded afterwards. Roast in a moderately hot oven at 200°C (400°F) for an hour or so until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
One small onion
A pint or so of vegetable stock – use the water from boiled potatoes or other veg
A little tomato paste
1 tbsp yeast extract
Splash of red wine
2 tsp corn flour, stirred to a paste in a little water
Fry onion over a fairly high flame until caramelised. Add the vegetable water, and simmer for a few minutes, adding the yeast extract, wine and tomato paste. Continue to simmer for a few more minutes. This gravy is quite improvised, and so bung any other left overs in that you think might add interest; chopped mushrooms, peas, a mashed potato or two, whatever you fancy.
Enjoy your festive season, here’s a message from Father Permaculture…
Lots more seasonal recipes can be found in The Vegan Book of Permaculture by Graham Burnett – order your SIGNED copy today and get a bonus free copy of ‘The Ecology of the Self – Zone Zero Zero Permaculture Design Notes’, or buy it together with ‘Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide’ plus extra booklets for the special price of just £21!