• Meaty nut loaf

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Nut loaf recipes became popular in the United States, during World War I, when meat was scarce. They became popular, again, when food was rationed during World War II. How can you make a vegetarian dish that is ‘meaty’? Oxymoron you say? Try this recipe. I think you’ll be surprised.

    This is a recipe I have served over the last 37 years at Thanksgiving and Christmas to the enjoyment of my family and visiting omnivore friends. The next day I like to cut a ¾ inch slice off the leftover loaf and make sandwiches.

    1½ cups walnuts
    ½ cup unsalted cashews or almonds
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 yellow onion (finally chopped)
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1½ cup cooked brown rice (it works with white but brown is tastier)
    2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
    1 tablespoon fresh marjoram (chopped)
    2 tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped)
    1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves (chopped)
    4 eggs (lightly beaten)
    12 ounces Gruyere cheese (grated)
    1 cup cottage cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan (you can use shortening, cooking oil or butter). A round 9-inch spring form pan works well also. Set aside.

    Toast walnuts and cashews on a baking sheet until lightly browned, about ten minutes. Do not burn. Let cool. Finely chop and set aside (I use a blender to chop the nuts). Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

    Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add toasted nuts, rice, parsley, marjoram, thyme, sage, eggs, Gruyere, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

    Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 to 55 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy and your favorite side dishes.


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