How to make Gaz Oakley's vegan stuffed squash roast

12th Dec 18 | Lifestyle

An impressive centrepiece for your festive table.

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If this is your first plant-based Christmas, chances are you’re feeling confused or a bit panicked about what the main event on the dinner menu should be. What do vegans have when turkey is out of the question?

Well, many things – like this stuffed squash roast from Gaz Oakley, aka the Avant-Garde Vegan. “It’s so flavoursome and I think it looks beautiful as well, which is what you want on a Christmas table,” Oakley says of the dish.

Ingredients:
(Serves 6)

1 large butternut squash, washed
A little olive oil

For the glazed onions:
2 red onions, finely sliced
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
5tbsp organic coconut sugar

For the Christmas rice:
150g wild rice, cooked
150g whole cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots, chopped
150g mixed nuts, chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of paprika
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
Pinch of dried sage

For the sautéed mushrooms:
160g fresh mushrooms (I used girolles)
1tsp roasted garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper
5tbsp cranberry and orange sauce
4 peppers, roasted, skin removed
6 sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated
2 handfuls baby spinach

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Split the squash in half lengthways, place cut-side up onto a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, or until just soft.

2. Meanwhile, make the glazed onions. Heat three tablespoons of water in a non-stick saucepan, add the sliced onion and sweat for five minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar, then cook for a further 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Set aside.

3. Mix the Christmas rice ingredients in a mixing bowl until fully combined, then set aside.

4. Sauté your mushrooms. Heat two tablespoons of water in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic powder and seasoning. Sauté for five minutes.

5. When the squash is cooked and cooled slightly, scoop out the seeds, then scoop out a 2cm (1in) channel of flesh and mix that into the Christmas rice mixture. Spoon the cranberry sauce into one of the squash halves, followed by the rice. Top with the peppers, onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Place the other squash half on top, tie together in three places and roast for a further 15 minutes. Carve and serve straight away.

Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley is published by Quadrille, priced £15. Available now.

© Press Association 2018

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