Fennel & chestnut loaf with cranberry relish

Fennel & chestnut loaf with cranberry relish

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 2
Good Food reader Barbara Keen shares her vegetarian loaf recipe with seasonal chestnut and cranberry

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal581
  • fat20g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs91g
  • sugars60g
  • fibre11g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.32g
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  • 125g pack cooked chestnuts



    'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…

  • 6 juniper berries, squashed
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 140g fennel, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 125ml orange juice
  • 50g wholemeal breadcrumb
  • 25g ground almond
  • 50ml white wine
  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

For the cranberry relish

  • 140g fresh or frozen cranberry


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 65g granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, segmented



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…


  1. Place the chestnuts and berries in a small pan, pour over enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse until cool. Once cool, drain chestnuts and discard berries. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium-size pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the fennel and cook for 3-4 mins.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 1lb loaf tin with oil. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the chestnuts and remaining ingredients with some seasoning. Put into the tin, smooth the top a bit, and cook for 35-40 mins until light golden. Leave to cool for a few mins in the tin before removing.

  3. While it’s cooking make the cranberry relish. Place the cranberries in a small pan and pour over 150ml of water. Bring to the boil and cook until they’re soft. Reduce the heat and add the sugar. Simmer until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the orange and serve with the loaf.

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th Feb, 2013
sadly, this didn't work for me. After reading the comments, I used half the required liquid and this seemed to make it less wet but it completely fell apart when I tried to get it out of the tin. Perhaps lining the tin might have prevented this? It tasted okay but the parsnip loaf on this site is much taster in my opinion.
29th Dec, 2012
Similar to other comments it did fall apart and was a little wet. Better after reheating. Think there are better nut roasts around sorry to say.
11th Oct, 2011
Very tasty nut roast - even if you're not veggie.... Although after reading feedback before starting to cook, I only used the orange zest - which will still overpowering! Replaced the Juniper Berrys (as could not find them anywhere) with bay leaf and pink peppercorns to add some flavour. Decided to cook the night before and chill before reheating slices in the microwave (also had some left to freeze)!
8th Jan, 2011
This is best eaten cold. If the juniper berries are left in the flavour develops the next day. Best if leave the nuts chunky.
26th Dec, 2010
Cooked this for Christmas dinner yesterday - very yummy. Would fully recommend it. My husband thought the orange could have been a little less strong too but i liked it. The texture was a bit soft - we are recooking the half we didn't eat for todays meal and guess it will become firmer. We didn't have a loaf tin (must buy one!) so used a round cake tin which may have made it softer as the heat would be differently distributed when cooking. Missed sugar out of the sauce which worked fine - again my husband found it too orangey and segments too large but i liked it.
26th Dec, 2010
Chose this for yesterday's Christmas Dinner main course for my veggie mum, and it went down very well! Decided to make and cook the loaf on Xmas Eve so I could just warm it through on the day. Was easy to prepare and not too time-consuming (using a food processor to chop everything!). Looked very golden and appetising when it came out of the oven; for my tastes I thought the orange flavours could do with toning down, but the fennel gave a lovely aniseedy back flavour that came through nicely. Texture-wise the loaf seemed a bit less firm than the picture above. Come Xmas lunch, I warmed the loaf through at the bottom of the oven while the spuds etc were cooking - this seemed to help firm up the texture without making it overdry. Mum loved it (just as well - she's got the other half of the loaf for lunch today :)) and as my first attempt at using fennel and chestnuts I was impressed. Well worth a go!
8th Dec, 2010
looks pretty good but never tried fennel before but certainly willing to give it a go maybe for new years day.
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