It’s rare I get a recipe right the first time I try it, but this mushroom and walnut wellington is a happy exception. It’s beautiful, impressive, and delicious. If you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian option for your Christmas table, I promise this won’t disappoint.
Mushroom and Walnut Wellington:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
700g fresh chestnut, button, or cremini (or a mix), sliced
50g dried mushrooms, rehydrated with 1/2 cup water – keep the water after soaking.
1/4 cup red wine
200g chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon vegan stock powder (I use this one)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh sage
3 tablespoons flour (I use gram flour)
salt and pepper to taste
1 package ready-made puff pastry
In a large, heavy-bottom pan (I use a wok), heat the oil over medium-high heat and then add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Roughly chop and add the rehydrated dry mushrooms. Turn the heat up to high and add the red wine. Cook for one minute and then add the soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms. Cook for five minutes and then add the stock powder and tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has reduced by 2/3. Once the liquid has reduced, add the thyme, sage, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Allow the cooked mixture to cool slightly and then add it to a food processor along with the walnuts and flour. Pulse until you have a rough mixture. You don’t want a mushy texture. Once the mixture is ready, tip it out onto a large piece of clingfilm. Use the clingfilm to help shape the mixture into a loaf. Once it’s shaped, wrap it tightly in the clingfilm and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 220C. Roll out the puff pastry to a 3-5mm thickness. Remove your formed loaf from the refrigerator and use it as a guide to cut the pastry. You’ll need about 1/3 for the bottom of the loaf and 2/3 to drape ever the top. Cut the pastry for the bottom of the wellington, remembering to leave at least a centimetre of extra pastry around the edge for crimping. Now drape the remaining pastry over the top of the wellington and use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry to seal. Cut several slashes across the top of the wellington to allow steam to escape while baking.
Carefully transfer the wellington onto a paper-lined baking tray, brush with a little oil or plant milk, and bake for 30-35 minutes.