Season’s greetings! Sorry there has been a lengthy break since my last post, a concoction of my laptop breaking, starting a new job and moving house has led to me not dedicating enough time to the blog. My brain has however still ben whirring away coming up with new ideas, so today I bring you an excellent festive vegetarian centrepiece just in time for Christmas… the mushroom wellington.
Usually I take inspiration from other recipes – tweak ingredients and put my own spin on existing dishes. However, apart from the basic concept of mushrooms wrapped in pastry, I followed no recipe and just went with my instincts.
I made the mushroom wellington for my parent’s annual Christmas party, where friends and family each bring a dish. I think my mum was a little nervous when I rocked up to the house with a mishmash of ingredients and no set recipe, but it turned out exceptionally well and the entire wellington was eaten – a rarity for a vegetarian alternative in a room full of turkey eaters.
The inside is like a mushroom rillette – it holds together like a rough patê. I thought that chestnuts or walnuts would be a great addition to add texture, however I wanted to steer clear of the ‘nut roast’ style vegetarian main. If you wanted to add these, substitute 50g of the mushrooms with 50g of your chosen nuts.
I apologise about the shoddy photography, I did not have my camera at my parent’s house so I only got a quick snap of the uncut mushroom wellington fresh out of the oven. When I make this again I will update the photos.
This recipe serves 6 hungry vegetarians, or can be served as a side for 12 people. 20 minute prep time, 40 minute cooking time (1 hour in total).
- 250g cooked wholegrain and wild rice (I used a Tilda microwave wholegrain and wild rice pouch)
- 400g chestnut mushrooms
- 150g Spinach
- 70g tarragon
- 150ml double cream
- 320g Puff pastry sheet (I used pre-rolled puff pastry)
- 50g Butter
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 red onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oven to 220°C/ 430°f/ gas mark 7. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and melt the butter.
- Finely chop the red onion and add to the pan, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Crush the garlic and add to the pan, cooking for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Chop the mushrooms in half then slice thinly and add to the pan. You may need to do this in batches dependent on the size of the pan.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft and have browned a little. Add the rice (if you are using a packet like me, add it straight out of the pack).
- Finely chop the tarragon and add to the mushrooms, along with the spinach. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the double cream and cook for 4-5 minutes until the cream has reduced a little. Add a generous serving of salt and pepper and take off the heat.
- Roll out your puff pastry sheet (or if using a block, roll out to 0.7cm thickness), leaving it on the greaseproof paper and place on an oven tray.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Pour ½ of the egg into the mushroom mixture and set the rest aside.
- Mix the mushrooms until the egg is fully incorporated, then spoon the mixture into the centre of the puff pastry to create a sausage shape going horizontally across the rectangle. Leave a 2 inch space on the long sides and 1 inch on the short sides, so you can easily fold and seal the wellington. Be careful not to overfill.
- Fold the short edges first, then the long edges over the mushroom filling to make a parcel. Pinch the overlaps to seal. Brush the pastry with half of the remaining egg.
- Using the greaseproof paper to assist, carefully roll the wellington over so the sealed edges are on the bottom. Brush the remaining egg over the wellington. If any filling has leaked out, brush this over the wellington.
- Place in the oven for 40 minutes or until the pastry has browned. Serve as the vegetarian centrepiece of any celebratory meal.