If you don’t eat meat, then Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or even just a Sunday lunch) can be upsettingly hit and miss. The closest thing to a traditional meal you will encounter is an old-fashioned nut roast, and God knows what a minefield those can be. Pick a bad recipe and you’ll end up with something inedibly dry, or unattractively crumbly, or just plain dense and tasteless.
Nevertheless, help is at hand. This is going to be the strangest Christmas in living memory, so the least you deserve is a palatable lunch. Here are a few of the best options.
Perfect nut roast
At the risk of nullifying the rest of the list, here is Felicity Cloake’s recipe from 2011. It is a glorious-looking construction, complete with parsnips, mushrooms and stilton, wrapped in cabbage leaves. If it is allowed this year, it is the sort of thing that could easily win over visiting meat-lovers. “At an early Christmas dinner of omnivores, this disappeared even faster than the pigs in blankets,” Cloake wrote. “High praise indeed.”
White nut roast
Another example from the Guardian archives is Beth Gardner’s white nut roast, from a 2015 reader recipe swap. The nuts here are a combination of ground brazils, macadamias, pine nuts and almonds, mixed with artichoke hearts and fresh white breadcrumbs and livened with lemon zest. Gardner suggests serving with white sauce.
White nut roast with artichokes. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian
Easy vegan nut roast