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Vegetarian Christmas Wreath

Introduction & method

Here's an idea for a tasty and great-looking Christmas dinner centrepiece. The shortcrust pastry roll contains caramelised onions, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and parsnips. It's served with a melted cheese dip.

Vegetarian Christmas Wreath Recipe

Caramelise the Onions

Peel and finely slice the onions. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a cast-iron casserole dish or heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the onions, stir them to get them coated all over, turn the heat right down low and put a lid on. They'll need to cook for at least an hour until they are soft and golden, not crispy and blackened - you'll need to stir them every 10 minutes or so to achieve this.

Cook the Mushrooms

If you are using dried porcini mushrooms, sit them in boiling water for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Brush any dirt off the button and chestnut mushrooms and chop them and the porcini very finely. You can do this in seconds with the grater attachment of a food processor. Add the mushrooms to a large frying pan on low heat - no oil or water is required. The mushrooms will begin to release their moisture and you'll need to stir quite frequently until all the moisture has evaporated.

Finish the Mushroom and Onion Mix

Mix together the mushrooms and caramelised onions, season well with salt and black pepper and stir in a teaspoon of yeast extract - Marmite or similar. Check that the seasoning is okay and set the mixture aside to cool completely.

Make the Pastry

If your margarine is really cold, you can grate it. Otherwise cut it into very small pieces. Mix the salt with the flour, then rub in the margarine with your fingertips until you get a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Fold in just enough cold water to make the mixture come together as a ball. Cover and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Prep Other Veggies

The mushroom/onion mixture can be topped with seasonal veg like Brussels sprouts and parsnips - or anything else you fancy. Strip the outer leaves off the sprouts, trim the base and cut them in half. Top and tail, peel and slice the parsnips.

Assemble the Wreath

Prepare a 22cm (9inch) diameter springform cake tin by lining it with greaseproof paper - put some dabs of butter in the base of the tin to hold the paper in place. Sprinkle flour on your worktop and roll out the pastry into a rectangle that's about 500mm (20 inches) long and 150mm (6 inches) wide. The pastry should be about 4-5mm (quarter inch) thick. Place the pastry on a sheet of plastic film, then spread the mushroom/onion in a long narrow strip 10cm (3 inches) away from the bottom edge of the pastry. Arrange alternating sprouts and parsnips along the top and mix in a few cranberries too. Moisten the far edge of the pastry with water, then pick up the edge of the clingfilm nearest you and use it to lift the pastry up and over the filling to enclose it like a sausage roll. Smooth out the joint and position it on the underside of the roll. Now, the tricky bit. Form the roll into something like a donut and cover over the joint with a thin piece of pastry moistend on one side to make it stick. Put it in the cake tin. Paint the top and edges with beaten egg. You might want to put a buttered steel ring in the middle to stop the roll from spreading out.

Bake It!

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Bake the wreath for 15 minutes initially, then take it out and remove the inner and outer rings. Paint the pastry all over with beaten egg, put the ring back in for another 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Plate It!

For the hole in the middle, melt some camembert cheese in a ramekin (2 minutes in a microwave should be enough). Add some Stilton or other blue cheese if you like. Transfer the baked wreath to a warmed plate, put the cheese-filled ramekin in the middle with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Decorate the top of the wreath with slices of orange and cranberries that have been cooked in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Vegetarian Christmas Wreath on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams onion
 250 grams chestnut mushrooms
 250 grams button mushrooms
 2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
 1 parsnip
 10 Brussels sprouts
 small handful cranberrie
 400 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
 200 grams baking block (margarine)
 200 ml water
 1 tsp salt
 1 small orange
 4 cranberries
  camembert cheese
 a sprig of fresh rosemary


Oil for sautéeing.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes.