My sister’s family are all vegetarian, so when they were visiting recently I wanted to make them a unique vegetarian dish. All too often vegetarians get the rough end of the deal in restaurants, and people feel nervous about catering for them in their homes as well. This wellington was a huge success, and I recommend it for everyone, vegetarian and meat lovers alike. It’s not labour intensive, either – in fact it cuts a lot of corners but in an acceptable way, I think. The finished result is a loaf with colourful layers of delicious vegetables that looks very impressive when you slice it.
• 320 gram sheet ready rolled puff pastry, or approximately 35cm x 23cm
• 100 grams risotto rice
• 450 ml vegetable stock
• 25 grams freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 egg, beaten
• 3 tablespoons cream
• Handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
• Handful fresh basil, chopped
• 200 grams jar roasted red peppers
• 200 gram jar chargrilled aubergines
• 100 grams buffalo mozzarella, drained and thinly sliced
• 200 gram jar baby artichokes, or hearts, drained and sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Dressed rocket salad to serve
1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Lay a sheet of puff pastry in a 22cm x 12cm non-stick loaf tin, pressing into the corners and leaving the excess hanging over the sides. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
2. Place the risotto rice in a pan and cover with the stock. Add salt to taste. Leave to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is nearly cooked. Stir in the grated Parmesan and remove from the heat – the risotto will continue to swell and cook. Spread the risotto mixture on to a tray to prevent it from cooking any longer. Leave to cool completely.
3. Placed the rice in a bowl with the egg and cream, parsley and basil, then season to taste. Spoon half into the bottom of the pastry-lined loaf tin. Arrange a layer of the red pepper quarters on top followed by the artichokes, mozzarella cheese, garlic and aubergine slices. Cover with the remaining rice. Fold over the pastry to enclose the filling, cutting away any excess and using it to patch up where necessary. Lightly wet your fingers and seal the pastry edges to ensure the filling doesn’t seep out during cooking.
4. Place the wellington on a baking tray and bake for 50 mins to 1 hour, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is heated through. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the loaf tin and turn out on to a platter to serve, or leave on a wire rack to cool completely. It’s fantastic eaten hot or cold.
Clara has recently returned to work after almost 9 years at home with her small children. These days, finding the time to devote to experimentation in the kitchen in a challenge, but cooking is still a pleasure when she has enough time to enjoy it.