Creamy Cashew Nut Roast

2 dessertspoons vegetable oil
8 oz (225g) onion, finely chopped
3 oz (85g) celery, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
5 oz (140g) carrot, grated
6 oz (170g) courgettes, grated
8 oz (225g) cashew nuts
2 dessertspoons tomato puree
3/4 tsp rosemary
3/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Place onion and celery in a saucepan with oil and saute until onion and celery begin to soften. Add garlic, carrots and courgettes, cover with a lid and continue to saute the vegetables until they are just soft.

2. Meanwhile grind the cashew nuts finely, leave a few fairly chunky if you like, to add a bit of texture. Do this by pulsing them in a food processor until they are the texture you want.

3. Remove pan from heat and stir in cashews, tomato puree and herbs. Season well with salt, tasting as you go along.

4. Place in a greased 2 lb/900g loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake in a preheated 180C/350F/gas mark 4 oven for 3/4-1 hour or until golden brown. The centre should still feel soft to touch. Suitable for freezing. Serves 4-5.

Variations and tips:

  • Almonds can replace up to half of the cashews.
  • Replace the tomato puree for a vegan pesto for a really delicious pesto nut roast.
  • For special occasions – Christmas? – turn it into a nut roast en croute by wrapping it in puff pastry. You still need to cook the nut roast first as per the instructions above and then cook again when it’s inside the pastry.
  • This tastes good in sandwiches, if you have any leftover.