Alternative Christmas Recipes from Tesco
Are you bored of the same old Christmas dinners? Fear not, Tesco have got you covered during this festive season. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian dish or a delicious alternative to a traditional Christmas roast, we’ve picked out 10 mouth-watering recipes to inspire you, from a colourful vegan stuffed celeriac, to hearty roast beef and succulent salmon.
1. Stuffed Celeriac with Parsnip Cream
No matter who’s coming for Christmas, everyone will love this stuffed celeriac main which has real wow factor but just happens to be vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Filled with cranberry-jewelled quinoa and served with a rich, nutty parsnip cream, this is a healthy, showstopper main that everyone can enjoy.
1 large celeriac, scrubbed
1 small sweet potato (roughly 120g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
2½ tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, finely diced
75g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
½ x 250g pack Merchant Gourmet red & white quinoa
10g dried cranberries
25g frozen cranberries
40g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
kale, steamed, to serve
thyme sprigs, to serve (optional)
For the parsnip cream
400g parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
400ml almond milk
1 tbsp snipped chives
pinch grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Wrap the celeriac in a large piece of foil and place in a roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 1 hr.
- Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the sweet potato, cover and cook for 8-10 mins until tender. Drain.
- Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Fry half the onion with the cumin seeds and garlic for 5 mins, then add the nuts and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins until toasted and golden. Add the sweet potato, quinoa, cranberries and spinach; season and mix well.
- Remove the celeriac from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool for 10 mins. Score an 8cm-wide circle in the top of the celeriac and, using a spoon, scoop out the middle. Score again and scoop, repeating until roughly 1cm from the bottom. Chop the scooped celeriac and stir into the grains mixture.
- Return the hollowed-out celariac to the foil in the roasting tin and spoon the grains mixture into it, piling any extra on top and around the sides. Drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil, enclose in the foil and roast for 1 hr (opening the foil for the last 10 mins of cooking) or until the celeriac is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and fry the other half of the onion with the parsnips for 4 mins. Add the almond milk and 200ml water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10-12 mins until the parsnips are soft. Using a hand blender, blend the parsnip mixture. Season to taste and stir in the chives and nutmeg.
- Serve the celeriac, with the parsnip cream, steamed kale and vegan gravy, plus a few sprigs of thyme on top, if you like.
2. Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Tarte Tatin
This bold beetroot and goat’s cheese tarte tatin proves this classic French dish doesn’t have to be just for dessert. With tender caramelised beetroot, crumbly cheese and crisp puff pastry, this striking tart makes an impressive vegetarian main for sharing on Christmas Day.
3 tsp demerara sugar
2 x 300g packs steamed beetroot, halved
10g fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
500g puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
2 tsp creamed horseradish sauce
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
125g goat’s cheese, crumbled
fresh thyme, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Heat the butter and sugar in a 26cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Add the beetroot and cook for 5 mins to soften and caramelise. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out a circle 2cm larger than the diameter of the frying pan.
- Spread one side of the pastry with the horseradish sauce. Arrange the beetroot in the pan in an even layer, cut-side down, then lay the pastry circle sauce-side down over the beetroot, tucking the edges down inside the side of the pan.
- Brush with beaten egg and bake for 35-40 mins until golden and puffed up. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan, place a large serving plate over the top and invert the pan to flip out the tart. Top with the crumbled goat’s cheese and thyme leaves to serve. Serve with extra horseradish sauce, if liked.
3. Leek, Squash and Parsley Crumble
This tasty veg bake is so versatile you’ll be serving it time and again – as a vegetarian main course, a hearty side to go with Sunday lunch or as part of a Boxing Day buffet spread to feed a crowd. The creamy squash and leek filling is topped with a golden cheesy crumble, making a delicious change from your average roasted veg.
3 leeks, trimmed and sliced into 2-3cm rounds
½ small squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 3-4cm cubes
1 tbsp plain flour
200ml vegetable stock, made with ½ stock cube
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
For the crumble topping
110g cold butter, cubed
250g plain flour
2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp English mustard powder
40g mature Cheddar, grated
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Put the butter, leeks and squash in a large pan over a low-medium heat. Cover and gently sweat the veg for 18-20 mins until softened and cooked through but not coloured. Stir occasionally to prevent them catching.
- Stir in the flour and mix until it has been absorbed. Add the stock, milk and mustard, then simmer gently for 5 mins. Transfer to a 2ltr ovenproof dish. Set aside to cool for 10 mins.
- Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the parsley, mustard powder and cheese. Mix thoroughly, creating small clusters of crumble mix. Use your hands to clump the mixture together a little. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the vegetable mixture, then press down gently with your hands. Bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling.
4. Roasted Veg Toad in the Hole
This showstopper roasted veg toad-in-the-hole is made with gluten-free flour for an impressive gluten-free and vegetarian Christmas dinner. Make quick festive stuffing balls studded with cranberries and chestnuts, then bake with roasted red onions, beetroot, carrots and parsnips in a herby rosemary batter for a colourful Christmas centrepiece.
For the batter
150g plain gluten-free flour
10g rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
For the toad
2 tbsp oil
1½ red onions, cut into wedges
125g Chantenay carrots, larger ones halved lengthways
2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks
100g cooked beetroot, cut into wedges
For the stuffing balls
½ tbsp vegetable oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
75g gluten-free breadcrumbs
½ x 180g pack whole cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
25g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
10g fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Sift the flour and add the rosemary. Add the eggs, milk and 125ml water. Beat until the batter is smooth, then chill for 30 mins.
- Put the onion wedges, carrots and parsnips in a medium roasting tin. Drizzle over half the oil, season and toss well to ensure the vegetables are evenly coated. Roast for 25 mins.
- Meanwhile, make the stuffing balls. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 mins until softened. Tip into a bowl and add the remaining stuffing ball ingredients, 1 tbsp of cold water and season well. Mix well until everything is fully combined. Use damp hands to shape the mixture into 8 balls and set aside.
- Remove the vegetables from the roasting tin and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Add the remaining oil to the roasting tin. Return to the oven for 10 mins to heat the oil.
- Pour the batter into the roasting tin. Scatter over the roasted vegetables, beetroot and stuffing balls. Bake for 30-35 mins or until the batter has risen and is golden all over.
5. Cauliflower Kiev Schnitzel
Need a vegan centrepiece for your Christmas dinner? Make this cauliflower Kiev schnitzel recipe for the perfect partners to your festive sides. Golden and crisp breadcrumbed cauliflower steaks are drizzled with herby garlic oil for a vegan twist on a retro classic.
2 x extra-large cauliflowers, outer leaves removed
3 tbsp cornflour
100ml soya milk
100g vegan gluten-free breadcrumbs
4 tbsp vegetable oil
For the garlic oil
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ lemon, zested, plus lemon wedges to serve
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Cut 2 x 2-3cm slices from the centre of each cauliflower, keeping the core intact. Save any trimmings to use at a later date.
- Divide the cornflour, soya milk and breadcrumbs between 3 separate bowls. Dip each cauliflower steak in the cornflour, followed by the soya milk and finally the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Set aside on a plate.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and, working in batches if necessary, fry the cauliflower steaks for 3-4 mins on each side until golden and crisp. Season.
- For the garlic oil, warm the olive oil in a small pan with the garlic for 10 mins over a low heat until softened. Remove from the heat and stir through the lemon zest and parsley.
- Serve the cauliflower schnitzel topped with the warm garlic oil. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
1. Baked Ham with Cranberry Glaze, Roasted Pears and Bacon Greens
It’s hard to beat a baked ham at Christmas, whether for a Boxing day buffet or as an alternative to the traditional roast turkey. This one has a sweet and sticky cranberry and mustard glaze, a port sauce and soft roasted pears. Serve with these honey and mustard bacon greens for a showstopper main.
2.6kg gammon joint
3 small pears, halved
For the sauce and glaze
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g jar cranberry sauce
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp whole cloves
For the bacon greens
300g pack sliced greens
5 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp mustard seeds
- Put the gammon in a large, deep saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 2-2½ hrs or until very tender. Alternatively, roast the gammon in a roasting tin in the oven at gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C, covered in foil, for the same amount of time.
- To make the sauce, heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot, cook for 3 mins to soften, then season and stir in the vinegar and port. Simmer for 10 mins until reduced by a third, then add half the cranberry sauce. Simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Drain the gammon and leave to cool for 10 mins, then slice off the rind and most of the fat, leaving behind a 1cm layer. Score a cross-hatch diamond pattern into the fat and put in a roasting tin with the pears.
- To make the glaze, blitz the remaining cranberry sauce and brown sugar in a food processor to a smooth purée. Mix with the mustard, then brush all over the gammon and the pears. Press the cloves into the scores on the fat. Cover with foil and roast for 45 mins, or until the glaze has caramelised.
- Towards the end of the gammon’s cooking time, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the greens and cook for 1 min to wilt, then drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Set aside. In a nonstick frying pan, fry the bacon over a medium heat for 3-4 mins until very crisp. Transfer to a plate and discard the fat from the pan. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook for 1 min or until pale golden. Add the vinegar, honey, mustard seeds and bacon. Simmer for 1 min until syrupy, then remove from heat. Toss with the greens and put in a bowl.
- Gently reheat the sauce, then serve alongside the ham with the pears and bacon greens.
2. Spiced Roast Duck with Clementine’s and a Maple and Mustard Glaze
Slow-cooked until tender and coated in a mouthwateringly sticky glaze, this duck is a stunning centrepiece to serve up on Christmas day. Serve with roasted shallots, juicy clementines and cinnamon sticks for a wonderfully festive main.
2.2kg whole Gressingham duck, giblets removed
1½ tsp sea salt flakes
12 small shallots, peeled
6 small clementines, halved
6 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Pat the duck dry with kitchen towel and rub 1 tsp salt all over the skin. Put the bird breast-side down in a roasting tin with the shallots and roast in the oven for 1 hr.
- Drain all the fat from the tin, including any that has collected inside the duck. Reserve for roasting potatoes (don’t pour it down the drain!).
- Use wooden spoons to carefully turn the duck over so that it sits breast-side up in the tin with the shallots around the edges. Surround the duck with the halved clementines, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, then return to the oven to roast for a further hour, basting twice during this time.
- Combine the maple syrup and mustard with the remaining ½ tsp salt and spoon or brush over the duck skin. Roast the duck for 15 mins more, until the skin is deeply golden and glazed.
- Season with plenty of black pepper, transfer to a platter and surround with the shallots, clementines, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and any pan juices to serve. The duck will be very tender and easy to carve at the table.
Tip: To peel shallots easily, submerge them in a saucepan of simmering water for 50-60 secs. Drain, cool then trim the root ends – the skins will slip off no problem.
3. Stuffing and Pork Wellington
Fed up with turkey? Mix it up this year and serve this succulent pork Wellington recipe with cranberry, pistachio and pork stuffing. This dairy-free main is easier than it looks and makes the most of pre-made puff pastry to save time. Get creative with the pastry offcuts before baking until golden and cooked through. Christmas dinner doesn’t get better than this!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x 350g packs Tesco Finest sausagemeat
85g fresh white bread, blitzed to breadcrumbs
50g dried cranberries or dried apricots, roughly chopped
25g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
15g fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
400g pork fillet
1 x 500g block puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
- Heat ½ tbsp oil in a lidded frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion, cover and cook for 8 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook, uncovered, for 2 mins. Tip into a large bowl and set aside to cool completely. Once cool, add the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, pistachios and sage; season. Mix well to combine. Cover and chill.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Rub the pork with ½ tbsp oil, then sear in the pan for 2-3 mins, rotating every 20 secs until just browned all over. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.
- Put the stuffing on a sheet of baking paper. Shape into a rectangle 20cm wide and as long as the pork. Place the pork on top and, using the paper to help you, roll up to encase in the stuffing, using your hands to shape the stuffing around the meat. Chill for 30 mins.
- Meanwhile, roll out one-third of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of about 32 x 18cm (it needs to be at least 3cm bigger than the stuffing log on all sides). Transfer to a sheet of nonstick baking paper. Roll out the remaining pastry to a 25 x 35cm rectangle; transfer to a second sheet of baking paper. Chill both for 15 mins.
- Transfer the smaller sheet of pastry (on its paper) to a large baking tray. Place the stuffing log lengthways in the centre and brush the pastry border with egg. Lift the larger sheet of pastry on top, then press the edges together around the meat, gently sealing and ensuring there are no air pockets; trim, leaving 2-3cm pastry all the way around. Reserve any offcuts for decoration. Pinch and twist the pastry border, then brush with egg.
- Reroll the trimmings and cut out festive shapes, if you like. Secure on top and glaze with the egg. Pierce the pastry at each end and cut a steam hole on top. Cover and chill for 30 mins, or for up to 6 hrs.
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Bake the Wellington for 1 hr until crisp and the meat is cooked through. Rest for 10-15 mins, then slice to serve.
4. Turkey Porchetta with Caramelised Clementine’s
For something a little different this Christmas, try this showstopping turkey porchetta recipe for your Christmas day main. Easier than cooking and carving a whole bird, turkey breast meat is rolled around a fragrant herb stuffing and wrapped in pancetta. Served with sweet caramelised clementines, it makes a colourful Christmas feast.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 echalion shallot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 2 whole bulbs, halved
100g sourdough, blitzed into breadcrumbs
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
½ lemon, zested
60g fresh herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, sage and thyme), finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1.1kg butter-basted turkey breast joint with black pepper sprinkle, skin removed
18 rashers smoked pancetta
For the clementines
2 tbsp light brown soft sugar
4 small clementines, halved
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the shallot for 2 mins. Add the crushed garlic and fry for 1 min. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, fennel seeds, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Season; leave to cool. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C.
- Open out the turkey joint and place between two sheets of clingfilm. Bash with a rolling pin until it’s about 1cm thick. Spread the stuffing mix over the turkey and roll up tightly from one side.
- Arrange the pancetta rashers on a large sheet of nonstick baking paper in 2 rows of 9, overlapping slightly to make a large rectangle shape. Place the turkey in the centre and, using the paper, wrap the pancetta around it. Secure at 2cm intervals with kitchen string. Place in a roasting tin and cover with foil.
- Roast for 45 mins, then remove the foil. Arrange the garlic bulbs around the turkey and scatter with extra herbs. Drizzle with the remaining oil; season with pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hr, basting twice, until the pancetta is crisp and the turkey is cooked. Put on a serving plate; remove the string.
- For the clementines, melt the butter and sugar in a pan over a low heat. Add the fruit and cook for 4-5 mins. Add the vinegar, increase the heat and cook for 3 mins until caramelised. Arrange around the porchetta and serve.
5. Pomegranate-Glazed Roast Beef
If you’re not having turkey this year, try this showstopping sticky pomegranate-glazed roast beef for an alternative Christmas dinner recipe. Classic roast beef is given a glossy pomegranate glaze for a sweet and tangy Middle Eastern spin.
1.5kg large beef roasting joint
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
750ml pomegranate juice
6 tbsp caster sugar
1½ tsp cornflour, mixed with 3 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to garnish
mint sprigs, to garnish (optional)
- Take the joint out of the fridge 30 mins before cooking. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Mix together the cumin, nutmeg and seasoning, then rub into the beef.
- Put the onion and lemon wedges in the bottom of a roasting tin, place the beef on top and roast for 1hr 15 mins for medium beef.
- Meanwhile, place the pomegranate juice in a saucepan with the sugar. Simmer for 20-25 mins, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced by half. Stir through the cornflour and water mix and bring the mixture to a vigorous boil, stirring continuously, for 3-5 mins until thickened and glossy.
- After the beef has been cooking for 40 mins, brush generously with the pomegranate glaze. Repeat 15 mins before the end of cooking time. Remove the beef from the oven and leave to rest for 20 mins before serving. Place on a serving platter and brush with some of the remaining glaze. Decorate with pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs, if using. Serve with the remaining glaze to drizzle over the beef.
1. Salmon En Croute
Pull out all the stops this festive season with a stunning salmon centrepiece. Lightly baked salmon topped with creamy spinach and toasted almonds, all wrapped up in buttery pastry – this alternative Christmas dinner is sure to be the star of the show.
1 side of salmon, approx 1kg (2lb)
500g (1lb) spinach
20g (3/4oz) butter, cubed
pinch ground nutmeg
2 tbsp crème fraîche
½ lemon, juiced
50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped
flour, for dusting
500g (1lb) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from the salmon and remove any bones. Cut in half lengthways. Set aside.
- Place the spinach, butter and nutmeg, with seasoning, in a large pan or wok. Cover with a lid and put over a low-medium heat. Allow to wilt a little, stir well and continue cooking – stirring occasionally – until the spinach is fully wilted (about 5 minutes). Sieve to remove the liquid. Allow to cool a little, then place the spinach between sheets of kitchen paper and squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Roughly chop the cooked spinach. Place in a bowl with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Add seasoning to taste and set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium flame. Lightly toast the almonds for 3-5 minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Roughly chop.
- Lightly dust a surface with flour. Roll the pastry out to 30cm x 50cm (12in x 20in). Cut a 5cm (2in) strip off the short end for the decoration, then cut the large rectangle into two across the length. Gently roll out one half so it’s large enough to cover the salmon fillet (this will be your top piece).
- Place the smaller piece of pastry on a nonstick baking sheet. Put one half of the salmon on top. Cover with a layer of spinach, then the chopped almonds. Add the second piece of salmon, placing its thicker end above the first half’s thinner end.
- Brush the edges of pastry around the salmon with beaten egg. Lay the second piece of pastry on top, pressing round the edges to seal. Neaten the edges by cutting through the very edge of the pastry with a long, sharp knife, then crimp with two fingers. Brush with beaten egg.
- Roll out the remaining strip of pastry. Cut out holly leaves or stars to decorate the top of the pastry. Brush these with beaten egg too. Cool in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking.
- Place the tray in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden. Slice along the width to serve.
2. Salmon with Toasted Seeds and Prosecco Sauce
For an alternative Christmas main that’s super special, try this delicious side of salmon recipe. Bejewelled with toasted almonds, seeds, dill and capers and finished with a creamy prosecco sauce, this stunning dish will definitely impress. What’s more, it’s ready in under 1 hour and totally gluten-free.
35g butter, softened
50g flaked almonds, half crushed
25g 4 seed mix
40g Parmesan, finely grated
2 lemons, zested, plus wedges to serve
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
30g fresh dill, finely chopped
1-1.2kg side of salmon
7 bay leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, very finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ vegetable stock pot, made up to 300ml
200ml prosecco or dry white wine
150ml pot double cream
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Melt 10g butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the almonds and seeds and fry for 5 mins, stirring. Stir in the Parmesan and half the lemon zest; cook for 3-4 mins until crispy. Transfer to a plate to cool; mix with the capers and half the dill. Season with pepper; set aside.
- Line a roasting tray with non-stick baking paper. Put the salmon on it, skin-side down. Mix the remaining 25g butter and lemon zest; season. Rub over the salmon; lay 6 bay leaves along the centre. Roast for 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and fry the shallots and garlic for 3-4 mins. Increase the heat, add the stock and remaining bay leaf; simmer for 5 mins. Add the prosecco and simmer for 3-4 mins until reduced by half, then stir in the cream. Cook for 2-3 mins, then stir through the remaining dill; season.
- Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and sprinkle with the almond mix. Serve with the sauce.
3. Roast Salmon with Hasselback Potatoes and Beurre Blanc Sauce
Try something new and impress your guests this Christmas with an alternative roast dinner starring delicate, zesty salmon. Pair with crispy hasselback potatoes and caramelised fennel, and serve with homemade beurre blanc. This easy Christmas dinner idea is completely gluten-free and ready in just 1 hour, so you can make the most of the festivities.
1.2kg new potatoes, large ones halved
2 large fennel bulbs, cut lengthways into sixths
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml white wine vinegar
1 echalion shallot, finely diced
150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and kept cold, plus 1 tbsp, softened
1 whole side of salmon (1kg)
15g dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Carefully cut thin slits into each potato, stopping about two-thirds of the way down. Put them in a large mixing bowl with the fennel; add the olive oil and toss until well coated. Tip into a large roasting tin and roast for 30-35 mins, stirring now and then until the fennel is lightly caramelised and starting to crisp.
- Meanwhile, put the vinegar and shallot in a pan with 100ml water. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce by two-thirds (it will take 5-8 mins). Strain into a jug, reserving the shallot; set aside.
- Rub the 1 tbsp of softened butter all over the salmon flesh and season well. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, move the vegetables to the side of the tin, then sit the salmon, skin-side down, diagonally across the tin in the space you’ve created. Roast for 25 mins.
- Meanwhile, put 2 tbsp of the vinegar reduction in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water over a medium-low heat, being careful not to let the water touch the bowl. Once the reduction has warmed, add a cube of cold butter and whisk until melted. Repeat, adding 1 cube at a time and whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes glossy (about 4-5 mins). Then add the butter 4-5 cubes at a time. Once you’ve added all the butter, taste and season with salt; reduce more if you want it to be sharper. You can also add a little of the reserved shallot for extra texture. Remove the sauce from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve, placing a piece of clingfilm directly on the surface of the sauce to stop a skin forming.
- Garnish the salmon with the dill and lemon zest, and serve with the potatoes and fennel. Stir the beurre blanc and serve on the side.
4. Rice-Stuffed Salmon with Herby Buttermilk Sauce
This hearty rice-stuffed salmon makes an impressive alternative main to rival the classic turkey at Christmas, or to feed a crowd on any special occasion. Served with a crunchy green bean, pecan and pomegranate salad and tangy buttermilk sauce for a delicious mix of flavours and textures.
2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 large onion, diced
300g long grain and wild rice
500ml vegetable stock
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
⅔ x 30g pack dill, chopped
⅔ x 30g pack tarragon, leaves chopped
2 whole salmon sides (2kg total), skin on
3 bay leaves
400g fine green beans, trimmed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
50g pecans, toasted and chopped
80g pomegranate seeds
For the sauce
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, season and cook for 8 mins or until translucent. Add the rice and stock and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 8 mins, adding the tomatoes after 3 mins. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in all but 1 tbsp of the herbs and set aside.
- Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper. Line a large roasting tin with foil and grease with oil. Lay 3 lengths of kitchen string in the tin at regular intervals and place 1 salmon side on top, skin side down. Spoon a third of the rice over the fish. Put the rest in a lidded container and chill in the fridge. Lay the second salmon side on top, skin side up. Tie the strings together tightly to secure, tuck a bay leaf underneath each piece of string and season. Bake for 30-40 mins until cooked through and piping hot in the centre.
- Towards the end of the salmon’s cooking time, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the beans for 3-4 mins or until tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar. Season, then whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the beans, pecans and pomegranate seeds, then stir to coat in the dressing.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir in the reserved herbs and season. Reheat the remaining rice until piping hot. Serve the fish with the green beans and rice.
5. Spice-Crusted Salmon with Parsley and Pomegranate
Bring the wow-factor to your Easter lunch with this sweet-spiced roasted salmon. The fish is first rubbed with cumin, cinnamon and sumac before being topped with sourdough breadcrumbs to make up the crust and rounded off with a gorgeous pomegranate dressing.
1kg salmon side
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sumac
3 slices sourdough bread, torn
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
For the pomegranate dressing
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey
80g pomegranate seeds
15g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Line a baking tray with foil and put the salmon on top, skin-side down. In a bowl, mix the cumin, cinnamon, sumac and 1 tsp salt. Rub over the fish.
- In a food processor, blend the bread to fine crumbs with the oil. Sprinkle over the fish, then bake for 20 mins, or until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice, oil, honey, pomegranate seeds and all but 1 tbsp of the parsley.
- When the fish is cooked, scatter over the reserved parsley and some dressing. Serve on a platter with the extra dressing in a bowl alongside.
Tip: If you can’t find a 1kg salmon side, the spice-crusted salmon can also be made with two 500g sides.
1. Stuffed Roasted Squash with Pesto
Prepare this stunning centrepiece to impress your vegan guests on Christmas day. Roasting a whole butternut squash, scooping out the sweet flesh and then filling with layers of chargrilled peppers, mushrooms, chestnuts and spinach is really easy to do, and gives impressive results. Serve this vegan Christmas recipe with homemade pesto for an extra flavour kick.
1 large butternut squash, about 1.5kg
100g flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbsp finely chopped, the remainder roughly chopped
2 x 285g jars charred roasted peppers in oil, drained well and all oil reserved
1 onion, chopped
200g button mushrooms, sliced
180g ready-cooked (vacuum-packed) whole chestnuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ tsp paprika
8 thyme sprigs
200g spinach leaves
¼ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
For the pesto
3 garlic bulbs, halved through their middles
1 red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
100g pecans, lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Halve the butternut squash vertically and scoop out the seeds with a soup spoon or melon baller. Line a roasting tin large enough to hold both squash halves with nonstick baking paper. Put both halves, cut sides down, in the roasting tin and roast for 50 mins, or until just tender.
- Leave to cool for 15 mins, then carefully turn the halves over and scoop out the insides along the length of each squash half, leaving an even, 3cm border of squash all around the edge. Be careful not to pierce the skin. Reserve the scooped-out squash and season the hollowed-out halves with salt and pepper.
- While the squash halves cook, put 2 tbsp of the oil from the jarred peppers in a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook gently for 8 mins or so, stirring often, until soft and just starting to colour. Now add the mushrooms and cook for 5 mins until browned and soft, stirring often.
- Use a fork or potato masher to break the chestnuts down a little. They should be lightly crushed rather than completely broken down. Add the crushed chestnuts, 2 chopped garlic cloves, paprika and the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs to the pan. Cook through for a minute. Stir in the scooped-out squash, stirring to mix and to break it down evenly. Season well, stir in the finely chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
- Separately, wash the spinach and drain well. Transfer to a large saucepan and wilt over a medium heat, stirring often. It should take 2-3 mins for the leaves to collapse. Wring out in a clean tea towel to remove excess moisture then season well with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
- Use the drained, chargrilled peppers to line the hollowed out squash halves in an even, single layer. Divide the mushroom and chestnut mixture between the halves, pressing it down evenly. Evenly spoon the spinach over the filling in one half of the squash. Put the two halves together to make a butternut squash shape and tie together several times along the length of the squash with kitchen string. Return to the roasting tin.
- Bake for 20 mins, then add the halved garlic heads to the tin with the remaining thyme sprigs, drizzling them with 1 tbsp oil from the pepper jars. Bake for a further 30-40 mins, until the squash is completely tender and piping hot.
- To make the pesto, squeeze out the cloves from one halved garlic bulb and add to the small bowl of a food processor with the red chilli, pecans and the roughly chopped parsley. Blitz together, pausing to scrape down the sides. With the motor running, add the remaining oil reserved from the pepper jars in a steady stream. A rough pesto will form. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice the squash thickly, discarding the string, and serve with the pesto on the side and the garlic bulbs to decorate.
2. Vegan Mushroom Hotpot
Swap out nut roast and serve up this vegan mushroom hotpot for an alternative Christmas main. Totally vegan and gluten-free, the intense veggie filling combines mushrooms, swede and lentils in a rich porcini gravy, topped with crispy golden potatoes for a striking vegan Christmas dinner highlight.
40g porcini mushrooms
200ml vegetable stock, made from one stock cube
4 tbsp olive oil
200g shallots, peeled and quartered
160g pack Portobello mushrooms, sliced
200g Chantenay carrots, halved lengthways
350g swede, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tbsp cornflour
100ml red wine
250g pack cooked Puy lentils
15g thyme, chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
600g potatoes, peeled
- Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Put the dried mushrooms in a heatproof jug, cover with 300ml boiling water and set aside for 20 mins. Drain, reserving the liquid.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots, Portobello mushrooms, carrots, swede and 4 tbsp water. Cook for 10 mins until the shallots have softened. Stir in the cornflour and cook for 1 min. Gradually add the stock, reserved porcini liquid and wine. Cook, stirring continuously, for 3-4 mins until the mixture has thickened. Stir through the lentils, porcini mushrooms, chopped thyme and redcurrant jelly. Season well, then transfer to a large oven-proof dish or casserole pot.
- Finely slice the potatoes into rounds. Parboil for 5-6 mins until slightly softened. Drain and arrange the potatoes in rings on top of the hotpot, overlapping slightly. Brush with the remaining oil. Cover with foil and bake for 50 mins until the potatoes are just tender.
- Increase the oven temperature to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 mins until the potatoes are cooked and golden brown. Scatter with thyme to garnish.
3. Vegan Nut Roast
A nut roast is a fantastic alternative to a meat main course or traditional Christmas dinner. This delicious vegan nut roast recipe is full of hearty veg – butternut squash, aubergine, red pepper – as well as nuts, herbs and green olives for flavour and texture. Cooked in a round tin, it makes a showstopper main with its bright pomegranate garnish. What’s more, it’s vegan-friendly, too.
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes
8 small shallots, diced
1 red pepper, diced into 1cm pieces
400g tin chickpeas, drained
125g blanched almonds, toasted
125g shelled pistachios
15g rosemary, leaves picked
15g thyme, leaves picked, reserving a few sprigs to garnish
15g parsley, leaves picked
100g pitted green olives, roughly chopped
60g fresh breadcrumbs
½ lemon, juiced
40g pomegranate seeds, to serve
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Grease a 23cm, round deep tin with a little oil and line the base with baking paper. Toss the diced butternut squash with the garlic cloves and 2 tbsp of the oil in a large bowl. Spread out over a large roasting tin and cook for 15-20 mins, or until soft, turning once halfway through cooking.
- While the squash is cooking, heat a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp oil. Add the aubergine and cook for 10-15 mins until softened and well browned, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining oil to the frying pan along with the shallots. Cook for 5-10 mins until softened, then add the pepper and cook for further 5 mins. Add to the bowl with the aubergine and set aside.
- Once cooked, add the squash and roasted garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky purée, then transfer to the bowl with the aubergine mixture.
- Add the drained chickpeas, almonds, pistachios (reserving a few to garnish) and herbs to the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add to the bowl along with the chopped olives, breadcrumbs and lemon juice. Season well and mix everything together until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Bake for 50-55 mins, or until the top is golden. Allow to rest for 5 mins in the tin, then loosen the edges with a knife and carefully turn out onto a serving plate.
- Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, reserved pistachios and thyme sprigs before slicing into wedges to serve.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines: Once the dish has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge before reheating. To re-heat, loosely cover with foil and bake until dish is thoroughly heated through. Re-heat until piping hot.
4. Whole Roast Peppered Butternut Squash
Derek Sarno has the ultimate roasted butternut squash recipe for a mouth-watering vegan Christmas feast. Coat the roasted squash in a black pepper and smoky paprika rub and serve with a creamy cauliflower and garlic sauce that’s flavoured with truffle oil for extra indulgence.
2 medium butternut squash
1 vegetable stock pot, made up to 800ml
500g cauliflower, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp truffle-flavoured oil
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
½ tsp smoked paprika
10g soft brown sugar
5g fresh parsley, chopped
30g shelled pistachios, chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Pierce the skin of the squash all over with a knife, then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 45 mins-1 hr until tender. Set aside to cool for 10-15 mins.
- Meanwhile, put the stock in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower, garlic cloves and bay leaf (if using); cover and cook for 10 mins or until the cauliflower is tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a blender, then add 120ml of the cooking liquid. Blend until smooth, adding extra cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth sauce. Add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce and truffle oil. Blend again to bring the sauce together. Set aside.
- Top and tail the squash with a sharp knife, then stand on one end and cut away the skin. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Carefully add the squash and fry for 20 mins, turning, until lightly browned all over, adding another 1 tbsp oil if needed.
- Mix the pepper, paprika, sugar and ¼ tsp salt together. Press all over the squash to coat thoroughly. Transfer to a baking tray and return to the oven for a further 5 mins to allow the seasoning to set.
- Reheat the cauliflower sauce in a pan over a low heat. Slice the squash into rounds, setting aside the seeded part. Serve with the cauliflower sauce and scatter with the chopped parsley and pistachios.
5. Moroccan Lentil ‘Meatloaf’
Looking for a vegan main for Christmas this year? Give an American meatloaf a vegan makeover with this Moroccan lentil ‘meatloaf’, filled with walnuts, mushrooms and sweet potato and coated in a spicy harissa tomato sauce for a festive centrepiece.
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
150g mushrooms, chopped
2 x 390g tins green lentils, drained
100g dried apricots, chopped
4 tsp ras el hanout
20g gluten-free oats
For the sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sugar
400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 tsp harissa paste
2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the garnish
toasted flaked almonds, handful
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Place the sweet potato on a roasting tray, drizzle with half the oil and bake for 20 mins.
- Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 10 mins until softened. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 mins, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Once cooled, tip into a food processor and add the roasted sweet potato and remaining ‘meatloaf’ ingredients. Season generously and roughly blitz until just combined, so that the mixture retains some texture.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Tip the ‘meatloaf’ mixture on the paper and shape into a loaf. Bake for 45 mins.
- To make the sauce, add the olive oil to a large pan and fry the onions for 10-15 mins until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and sugar and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a medium heat for 15 mins until reduced.
- Pour the sauce into a blender or use a hand blender to blitz the sauce until smooth. Spoon the sauce over the ‘meatloaf’ to coat, then return to the oven and bake for 15 mins.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted flaked almonds. Serve with the remaining tomato sauce