Recipes for Christmas: Vegan Alternatives

Try this recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine for a festive vegan main course: Beetroot & squash Wellingtons with kale pesto



  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 250g raw beetroot peeled and cut into small chunks
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sumac plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves plus extra for sprinkling
  • 250g ready to eat Puy lentils
  • 180g whole cooked chestnuts
  • 250g pouch ready-to-eat Puy lentils
  • 180g pack whole cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g kale
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 x 320g packs ready-rolled puff pastry suitable for vegans (e.g Jus-Rol)
  • 2 tbsp almond milk


  • Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Toss the onion, beetroot, squash and garlic in a roasting tin with 2 tbsp olive oil, the thyme leaves, sumac and some seasoning. Roast for 45mins until the vegetables are tender, then stir in the lentils and half the chestnuts. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, reserve half and squash the other two into the lentil mixture. Leave to cool completely
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, tip in the kale, cook for 1 min until wilted, then drain and run under cold water until cool. Squeeze all the water from the kale, then put it in a food processor along with the reserved garlic cloves, chestnuts, lemon juice, olive oil and some seasoning. Blitz to a thick pesto, and season to taste.
  • On a lightly floured surface, unravel the sheets of puff pastry. Cut each sheet into three (width ways) so that you have six strips in total then divide the kale pesto between these, followed by the roasted veg and lentils, heaping the mixture on top of the pesto and leaving one side free of filling so that it is easier to roll.
  • Brush all the borders with half the milk, fold over the ends, then carefully roll the pastry lengthways to completely encase the filling into a roll.
  • Place your six individual Wellingtons on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill for at least 1 hr, or cover with cling film and leave overnight (If freezing, cover and freeze on a lined baking tray for up to 3 months). To bake from chilled, heat oven to 190 C/170 C fan/gas 3 and line a baking tray with parchment.
  • Brush the top of each Wellington with the remaining milk and sprinkle with a little sumac, then bake for 30mins from chilled or 45mins from frozen until crisp and golden. Scatter over extra thyme and some flaky sea salt and serve.



Filo, roasted pumpkin, sage and fennel tartlets with walnuts and rocket pesto: These vegan pumpkin and fennel tartlets are served with a zesty rocket and walnut pesto


  • 450g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 fennel, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sheets filo pastry
  • Baby rocket leaves, to serve

Rocket and walnut pesto

  • 1/4 cup (25g) walnuts, toasted
  • 1 bunch rocket, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil



  • Preheat oven to 180C/. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place pumpkin on the lined tray and drizzle with 2 tspn oil. Sprinkle with sage and fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper. Bake, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes or until beginning to brown.
  • Meanwhile, heat half the remaining oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add fennel and cook, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes or until tender. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until caramelised.
  • Place four 8cm (base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases on a baking tray. Place the filo pastry on a clean work surface and cut in half widthways. Place in a stack and cut into quarters to make squares.
  • Lightly brush filo with a little remaining oil. Place 8 filo squares, rotating slightly, in the base of each tart tin, allowing the corners to extend over the edge. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Divide the pumpkin and fennel among the pastry cases and bake for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Meanwhile, to make the rocket and walnut pesto, process the walnuts, rocket and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add lemon juice and oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve pumpkin tartlets with a drizzle of pesto and some baby rocket leaves.
Date: 21/12/2017