Parsnip, mushroom & barley wreath

Parsnip, mushroom & barley wreath

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

A challenge

Serves 6 - 8

The perfect vegetarian Christmas or Sunday lunch centrepiece - a low-calorie nut loaf packed with grains, root vegetables, mixed mushrooms, herbs and spice

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal332
  • fat21g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre5g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 150g pearl barley
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 330g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • 2 tbsp ground linseeds (or flaxseed)
  • 2 tbsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, halved and sliced



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

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves stripped, plus extra to decorate if you like



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 3 sage leaves, shredded
  • 100g blanched hazelnuts, toasted until golden
  • 50g vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, grated
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • a good grating of nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • handful parsnip crisps with sea salt & black pepper, or similar


  1. Cook the pearl barley with the stock cube according to pack instructions. Reserve 4 tbsp of the cooking stock, then drain the grains well. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the parsnips, and cook until really soft. Drain well, tip back into the pan to steam dry for a few minutes, then roughly mash. Mix the ground flax or linseeds with the reserved stock water, and leave to go gluey.

  2. Put the butter and oil in your largest frying pan with the onions and garlic. Fry gently until soft and golden, then stir in the mushrooms, rosemary and sage. Fry the mushrooms until golden too, and any liquid that comes out has evaporated. Scrape into a big mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

  3. Grease a 22-24cm savarin or ring tin generously with butter, then line with thin strips of overlapping baking parchment if it’s not a non-stick tin. Add the mashed parsnip, cooked pearl barley, gluey seed mix, grated hard cheese, chopped parsley and whole hazelnuts to the fried mushroom mixture. Season generously with salt and nutmeg, then mix everything together really well. Spoon the filling into the tin, and press down firmly to fill the tin and flatten the top. Keep in the fridge for up to 24 hrs before baking.

  4. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cover the tin with foil. Bake for 45 mins, until a skewer poked into the centre of the mixture comes out piping hot. Use a small palette or cutlery knife to release the filling all the way around, then sit a serving plate on top and flip over. Carefully lift off the tin, and top the wreath with some parsnip crisps and whole pumpkin seeds to serve – plus some extra rosemary sprigs if you like. Slice into wedges and enjoy.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Jeff Green's picture
Jeff Green
26th Dec, 2019
I made this for a family of 11, for Xmas dinner, including vegans and someone with a wheat allergy. It went down well, I thought it was a little bland and couldn't really taste the hazelnuts. It did fall apart a bit when sliced. I also added chestnuts and celeriac to add to the flavours.
26th Dec, 2017
Followed the recipe exactly, except followed the comment below and added two eggs instead of the seed mixture. Worked out really well and got compliments on it, however I felt that the end result was a little bland. All the individual components smelled and tasted wonderful but when added together nothing really stood out. Made sure to season everything more than indicated in the recipe but it didn't help the flavours stand out. The previous day I had made the Squash and blue cheese wellington from this site, much less work and was absolutely divine.
11th Dec, 2016
I made this for an early family Christmas dinner yesterday and it was stunning - so good to look at, and it tasted wonderful. My mum and I got the whole mixture ready the day before, but left out the egg (so leave out the flaxseed if that's what you're using) so we could store it in a sandwich bag in the fridge! Took up no room, which is so useful for a Christmas dish as the fridge is always stuffed full! (Added the egg the next day when we put it in the tin. I also got the mixture out of the fridge about 2 hours before I cooked it to bring it up to room temp.) Once cooked, it came out of the tin perfectly and held together nicely. Cut it carefully when you serve though - like most veggie loaves, it is delicate. I also used the jus left over in the pan from the mushrooms to start a gravy, and that was delicious, too. Very rich and umami (which I tend to struggle with with vegetarian gravies). So recommend you do that too. As a disclaimer, I did make a couple of changes to the recipe - I used brown basmati rice instead of pearl barley, because one of our guests is gluten free (up the quantity to 175g to finish with the right yield). I also used two eggs instead of the flaxseed/linseed 'eggs' as I did not have flaxseed or linseed to hand. And I doubled the cheese quantity because I love cheese! And instead of parsnip crisps, I used the mixed root vegetable crisps from Tesco as they are more colourful (beetroot, carrot and parsnip). And that is one change I recommend you make - the colours on top of the wreath were beautiful.
27th Dec, 2016
Thank you Alyson. This has been really helpful. I looked at the recipe and thought how good it looked, but like you I needed to make it gluten free. However one of the veggie visitors doesn't like mushrooms so used chopped carrots and whole cranberries instead! Like you, I substituted egg for the seeds and used Tesco veg crisps. Seems we've travelled a long way from the recipe, but it was a great success. My granddaughter tucked into it for lunch next day, and again in the evening.
19th Dec, 2017
Is it possible to make this ahead and freeze please?
goodfoodteam's picture
21st Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. We think this recipe is best prepared ahead as in step 3 but you could freeze and reheat if you won't have time to do this. Add the garnish at the end.
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