Nuts are a wonderful invention of Nature and it’s a shame, really, that we tend to eat nuts mainly, or only, as ‘nibbles’, to accompany a drink at happy hour, or to add crunch to a cake.
They are full of all kinds of nutritional goodies (1 Brazil nut a day will give you enough selenium for optimum daily intake) and keep many nasty health conditions at bay (walnuts for instance repel diabetes) and yes, the are fattening, but so what! Instead of ‘fattening’, think ‘filling’ and healthy and unless you allergic to them, nuts can become a best friend on the dinner table.
The following is a recipe that my vegetarian friend Sarah taught me many years ago, called a Curry Nut Roast. It may be vegetarian friendly but that doesn’t mean that omnivores can’t enjoy it too! It can be served as a starter or as a main course, accompanied by rice or salad or even some lovely, thick Greek youghurt. It is eaten at room temperature and is great for parties — and leftovers can be frozen too. What more do you want!
The first thing to do is preheat the oven at 200°C.
Hazelnuts 150g, walnuts 150g, 100g bread crumbs, 1 large onion, one red pepper, some olive oil, 250g plum tomatoes, curry powder, dried herbs of your choice (I used oregano), 1 egg to bind the mix, salt and pepper.
On the far right is a special salt I happened to have, containing many herbs.
Chop the onion and the red pepper and transfer to a frying pan with some olive oil in it.
Have your curry powder, herbs and salt ready for use …
Turn the heat on and let the onion and red pepper sweat for a few minutes on a medium heat. After about 10 minutes add the curry, herbs and salt …
The aromas wafting about in the kitchen at this point are truly delectable, especially if you like curry! When the veggies have had their sweat and are suitably wilted … time to add:
The tomatoes. These are cherry tomatoes (organic at that) out of a jar but plum tomatoes will do just as well, as would fresh tomatoes.
Mix everything up and cook for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, while all this is happening or even before if you prefer:
Put the nuts and the bread crumbs into a food processor and …
Pulse it until the nuts are smashed up and mixed in with the bread crumbs.
Add them to the frying pan and mix well. And that’s it. Switch off the heat and let it cool a little.
There is your egg. Beat it up and add it to the mix.
Here is superbly old-fashioned pyrex dish (circa 1970 for sure! I inherited it from my mother’s kitchen). I buttered it first and then added the curry nut mix and pressed down with a spoon.
I popped it into the oven and baked it till it was done … 30 minutes. It could even take 40 minutes … the timing depends on the oven a lot. And that’s it … finito, ready. All you have to do is remove it from the oven and serve it.
If you are anything like me, you might want to drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil on it. It is a very rich dish and a little goes a long way. Enjoy!