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herby nut rolls

March 5, 2013

Serves 4 generously
Prep time: 50 mins

Nut rolls from above
It’s still too cold for picnics… but I can dream.  These vegan sausage rolls make me yearn for a trip to the hills with a tartan blanket and a wicker basket full of tasty picky things.

In my dreams, my picnic would have the impossibly hip aesthetic quality of a photo shoot from the summer edition of Chickpea magazine: reclaimed tea chests and recycled burlap sacks to sit on; oven-fresh bread on oak platters; dips in mason jars, luminous green salads, trendy beers (in bottles, of course).

The reality is more likely to be a pot of shop-bought houmous and some breadsticks in the back seat of our Astra, in the car park of Asda Tonypandy, in the rain.  But that can be fun too.

These rolls are easy to put together and they taste delicious thanks to the filling, which is based on the classic Cranks nut roast recipe, because you can’t improve on perfection.

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Ingredients

Ready-made puff pastry, 500g (I used Jus-Rol which is animal free)
Your choice of mixed nuts, 225g
Wholemeal bread, whizzed into crumbs, 85g
One medium onion, finely chopped
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
125ml hot vegetable stock
1 tsp good quality dried mixed herbs such as Herbes de Provence
2 tsp Marmite
Plain flour for dusting
Soy milk, a few splashes

Preheat the oven to 200C and briefly toast the nuts: spread them out on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, shaking once or twice, until brown and toasty.  Tip them into a food processor and whizz to fine-ish crumbs (not too fine, you want a bit of texture).

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for about 10 minutes until softened and lightly coloured.

In a small bowl stir the dried herbs and Marmite into the stock.  In a large bowl combine the onion, nuts and breadcrumbs.  Tip the stock into the nut mixture and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Dust your surface with flour and roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 30cm by 40cm or thereabouts.  Carefully cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.  Spread approximately half down the centre of each long strip, squashing into a long sausage shape.  It helps if your hands are slightly wet to stop the filling sticking to them too much.

Roll each edge in to form the sausage roll.  If your edges won’t meet, take out some of the filling (and eat it).  Paint a little soy milk along the edge to seal the pastry.  Make little slits every 1cm or so and cut the rolls to your preferred length.  Paint the surface with more soy milk.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned.

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