Parsnip, cranberry & chestnut loaf

Parsnip, cranberry & chestnut loaf

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(23 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4 - 6

A modern take on the nut loaf, this makes a great vegetarian centrepiece for Christmas Day or a special dinner

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
819
protein
14g
carbs
117g
fat
36g
saturates
11g
fibre
15g
sugar
71g
salt
0.86g

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 15g pack sage, 6 leaves reserved, rest shredded
  • 200g pack cooked chestnuts
  • 100g walnuts
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp mace
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 500g cranberries
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 550g parsnips, choose long, thin ones if you can, peeled then halved lengthways
  • 1 tbsp honey

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Method

  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large non-stick pan, add the onions and gently cook for 10-15 mins until very soft. Stir in the sage for 1 min, then tip into a large mixing bowl. Pulse the chestnuts in a food processor until chopped into small bits, then tip these into the bowl with the onions and repeat with the walnuts. Now add the breadcrumbs, mace, beaten egg, 1 tsp salt and some pepper and mix everything together well.
  2. Tip the cranberries and sugar into a pan and simmer for about 8-10 mins over a high heat. The sugar will melt and cranberries will pop and become saucy – keep bubbling until sticky. Set aside to cool. Grease a 900g loaf tin, line with a long strip of baking parchment that covers the bottom and two ends, then grease this as well.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Throw in the parsnips and boil for 3½ mins. Drain well. From the thinner ends, cut off lengths of parsnip that fit widthways across the bottom of your loaf tin. Keep going until you have enough to snugly line the base of the tin. Roughly chop all leftover parsnip and mix into the nut mixture.
  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Mix the parsnip lengths with 1 more tbsp butter and the honey to coat, then fit them into the tin. Top with ¹/³ of the nut mixture – pack it down well and smooth the surface. Spread ¹/³ of the cranberry sauce on top, leaving a small gap around the edges. Top with the remaining nut mixture and pack down as before. The loaf can be made up to 24 hrs ahead, then covered and chilled, before continuing. Cover with foil then bake for 1 hr.
  5. To serve, melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a small pan and sizzle the reserved sage leaves for a minute. Splash water into the remaining cooked cranberries until saucy. Loosen around the sides of the loaf with a round-bladed knife if you need, then turn out. Drizzle with the sage butter and leaves. Serve in slices with extra cranberry sauce.

Recipe from Good Food Vegetarian Christmas magazine, December 2009

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Comments

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Emijo's picture

I obviously did something wrong as mine tasted horrible and bitter. By the previous comments I'm tempted to try again but not sure where it went wrong.

KatTrowbridge's picture
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I never leave comments on recipes, but I really wanted to express how thrilled I am with this dish! I took a chance and made it for Christmas Eve dinner without ever trying it before and fed it to a crowd of meat-loving folk (major pressure!). Everyone loved and raved about it!

I made it vegan by substituting 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax + 6 TBSP water mixed and let sit for a minute to thicken) for the 1 large egg called for since a few people expressed that 2 eggs were needed to properly bind. The butter was replaced with Earth Balance (an awesome vegan butter we have here in Canada). Also, I made this recipe gluten-free by substituting the bread crumbs for gluten-free rice based ones found in a local health food store. I also took the advice to slice the parsnips and cut them to size before boiling them and pressing the final mixture in the loaf pan very firmly. It came out beautifully and held it's form very well.

This recipe is definitely going into the archives for future holiday dinners and is fairly easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing!

georginastevens's picture

Just made this for a Christmas eve dinner with my veggie family. Going to serve with the red wine veggie gravy on here, roast pots and veg. So easy to make and smells divine. I have added an extra egg after reading the comments here. I plan to let it cool and then freeze it so I dont have to think about Christmas eve dinner and I can focus on christmas day dinner instead! Easy! Just got to remember to get it out of the freezer!

sarahandgavin's picture
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I feel some of the comments about this recipe are a little unfair! Its super tasty, looks stunning and is very easy. It seems people have two key issues: preparing the parsnips and making sure it doesn't fall apart. For the parsnips, prepare them in the right shape for the bottom of the tin before you cook them - quicker, easier and makes no difference to the end result. To keep it together, use a large egg, mix well, and then press down really, really, really well! Line the tin every which way you can and it will turn out nicely and look beautiful.

HarryPriestly's picture

Made this today as a trial for Christmas Day. Stuck to recipe apart from using dried sage rather than fresh. Google said to divide the quantity by 3 when using dried, so I used about 5g. Seemed like a lot but it turned out great! Also, I couldn't find cooked chestnuts so I roasted my own. Next time I will use an extra egg (mine was fine until it came to slicing it!!) and will roast the parsnips for appearance. Tasted great!

candyxcorex's picture

I have a very fussy vegetarian fiancé and I've made this for him for the past two Christmases.
The first time I used cranberry jelly from a jar instead of making my own and I didn't fiddle around so much with the parsnips, I also only lined the tin at the bottom instead of lining the whole tin and found that some of it got stuck. The second time I made it, I stuck closer to the recipe and lined the whole tin and it came out brilliantly.
Although my partner is the only vegetarian in my family, the loaf was entirely demolished by the end of the day, everybody loved it and I'm certainly thinking of making it for the third year on the run. :)

johnvic's picture

Really nice and suitably festive as a veggie alternative at the Christmas Day table . . . I overlooked the parsnips a little in an attempt to crisp them up to add a bit of colour to the top layer but didnt spoil it at all. I'll definitely make this again as it was well liked by all.

1redphantom's picture
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Fabulous recipe, really special and very tasty. Great alternative to meat for special occasions or you could serve it as a very posh accompaniment with meat/poultry/game.

sozzie's picture
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I was very disappointed with this recipe as it was fiddly to make, took nearly 3 hours in total (not 1.5 & 30 mins prep time) and the parsnips ended up soggy. As I was making this for Christmas dinner, I'm glad I made my trusted nut roast alongside this or we'd have had the vegetarians at our dinner very disappointed. I would have categorised it as Moderate or Moderately difficult definitely not easy. However, I will persevere with it and try it again! Also, where does one buy Mace from? I live in London and couldn't find it anywhere!

meredithlikes2nom's picture

Could you use premade cranberry sauce for this? Seems like extra hassle/not sure if I'll be able to find cranberries...

snowgo's picture
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I tried this out as a potential for vegetarian Christmas dinner as it looks good in the picture. I made the suggested amendments (2 eggs, substitute handful of mushrooms for some of the breadcrumbs) & it just held together. But flavour was disappointing. Family ate it all, but not enthusiastic. They said it tasted too much like stuffing mix. I think that might be on account of the large quantities of sage & onion & perhaps I over-processed the mix a bit too much in endeavour to ensure it stuck together. Don't know why it's categorised as easy when cutting thin parsnip slices from hot veg is a bit fiddly. We won't be having this at Christmas - want something more exciting flavour wise.

devonsongbird's picture
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Made this last year for Christmas, then again for a family party in the new year. Everyone voted it delicious. Leftovers froze well too.

fionammco's picture
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Um, I made this for Christmas day, dividing mixture between two 450 ml loaf tins which is what I have. tasted great, added the recommended (thanks) 2 eggs and some mushrooms. All held together a bit but at one end parsnip layer and some mix stayed stuck in the tin so it didn't look quite like the picture. Wondered if lining all sides of tin would help rather than just long strip?
I did it for an hour covered with foil then 15 mins without, and am trying freezing one loaf tin's worth.

pamban's picture
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Yummy! I made this for my xmas lunch (everyone else is a carnivore) and I really enjoyed it, I have frozen the rest for future use. Unfortunately I had already made cranberry sauce so I did have too much cranberry sauce so I have frozen that as well......fingers crossed. The loaf was fiddly but easy to make and did look and taste festive on the day.

clarechristina's picture
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I made this for Christmas day for my vegetarian guests. It looked great on the table and was enjoyed by everyone including the meat eaters!
I made it about 3 weeks in advance and froze it - this worked really well and was a real bonus when preparing a celebration meal for 12. I took the loaf out the night before to thaw and put it back in the tin then reheated it in the oven at 180 for 30 - 45 minutes before turning it out onto the serving dish.
I will certainly do this again - easy to prepare, freezes well, looked great and enjoyed by all!

soupdragon10's picture
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I only gave this 4 stars as both my daughter and I found it a bit sweet with the cranberries and parsnips especially with the amount of sugar used. That said it held together very well and was certainly tasty. I am going to try blitzing the small bit that's left into pate to serve cold with crackers.

theodopolus's picture
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Vegan version: replace butter with olive oil.
Instead of using egg as a binding agent simply make sure parsnip added to mix is quite well cooked, then vigorously mush everything together with your hands by taking handfuls and squeezing so the mixture comes out between your fingers. You may want to add more olive oil than the 1tbsp recommended of butter to keep things moist. I added about 3 and it was really nice and moist.
This is similar to how you make burgers without binding agent by just sqeezing the meat between your fingers.
Make sure you pack the mixture down well into the loaf and I'd advise not removing the foil at all or it will dry out.
It should come out of the tin fine but will be difficult to slice cleanly- your guests will have to accept a slightly crumbly portion.

littlemissmaccas's picture
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Love this made it last Christmas and it was perfect. I did add an extra egg, thank you for the tip and it worked so well. I am doing it again for this Christmas and want to do it again for family in January. Can anyone tell me if they have tried freezing it and how it comes out? Would be easier to make both at the same time and freeze one if I can.

j_hanlon's picture
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winicat1's picture
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I agree with previous posts that this needed a bit more egg to bind. Made mine in a round tin and laid parsnip into cart wheel pattern. This also meant it was thinner which helped it t hold shape. Very effective and delicious!

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