Bought too much red cabbage? Turn it into a festive peanut roast recipe

Today's nut roast idea for Oddbox, a veggie box outfit that supports farmers with lean buying of fruit and vegetables they may find difficult to convert. It's moist, flavorful, and a delight to use for the outer leaves of cabbage, which are often discarded; it's also a great vegan centerpiece for a celebratory table.

Baked beans

The outer leaves of the cabbage, which are removed and discarded too often, are ideal for wrapping baked beans, and help keep the filling moist. Roasted nuts can sometimes be a little dry and unsatisfying, but this version, featuring chestnuts, has a beautifully moist texture and tastes meaty and satisfying due to sage, nutmeg and Marmite; inspired by the vegan haggis recipe, I also added barley and lentils.

While they are delicious fresh, I think they are best made a few days in advance, giving them time to harden and the flavors to develop as they mix. Once baked, it will keep in the fridge for up to five days, or frozen indefinitely (thaw in the fridge overnight). Reheat at 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5 for 30 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

If you have leftovers, turn them into a rich soup: finely chop the red cabbage skins, then add them to the pan with the crumbled filling and enough boiling water to make a thick soup. Bring back to a boil, then serve.

  • 1 hour preparation
  • Cook 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Portions 4-6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced (about 140g)
  • 1 rainbow carrot, grated with skin (about 140g)
  • 180g cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 40g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • ½ tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 50g black or green lentils
  • 50g pearl barley, or rice
  • 2 tsp Marmit
  • 40g pinhead oats, or rolled oats
  • 40g ground almonds
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 4-5 pieces of outer red cabbage

Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the shallots and grated carrots for 10 minutes. Stir in the chestnuts, garlic, sunflower seeds, thyme, sage, coriander and nutmeg and add the lentils and pearl barley. Add the Marmite and 350ml of water, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 35 minutes, or until the barley and lentils are very tender and the texture is like dry risotto. Stir in the oats and almonds and season generously.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, blanch the red cabbage leaves for five minutes, then drain.

Grease a 1 pound loaf pan or enameled plate with olive oil, then line with the cabbage leaves, making sure they overlap. Pack the chestnut mixture tightly into the cabbage-lined vessel, then fold over the leaves hanging over the top, thus enclosing the contents. Bake in 200C (fan 180C)/390F/gas 6 oven for 45 minutes, then remove and let rest for at least five minutes. Carefully invert onto a serving board, then bring to the table, slice and serve with all the Christmas trimmings.

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