Cheese and Parsnip Roulade with Sage and Onion Stuffing
This recipe is in specific response to the letter I received from a vegetarian who asked if I could devise something that had stuffing, sauce and all the trimmings – so that he could feel as Christmassy as everyone else.
Well, here it is, and I would add that it also goes very well with Traditional Bread Sauce or Cranberry and Orange Relish. (The Sage Derby cheese gives a lovely flavour but I know that some of you may have difficulty getting hold of it, so Lancashire is my suggested substitute with your own chopped, fresh or dried sage leaves.) Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from Bookhams.com
This recipe is from Delia's Vegetarian Collection. Serves 4
First make up the stuffing by melting the butter in a small heavy-based saucepan, then add the onions and cook them for about 6 minutes or until they are transparent.
Next add the herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning, stirring well to combine everything, then sprinkle the mixture evenly all over the lined tin. Now for the roulade: place the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan and whisk them together over a medium heat until thickened, then season with salt and pepper and leave the sauce to cook over the gentlest possible heat for 3 minutes.
After that draw the pan off the heat to cool slightly, then add the egg yolks, whisking them really well in. Next add the grated Sage Derby cheese and taste to check the seasoning. In a large bowl (and with a spanking clean whisk) beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold one spoonful of the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture – to loosen it – then spoon this mixture, a little at a time, into the rest of the egg white.
Now spread the whole lot evenly into the prepared tin over the stuffing mixture, and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until it feels springy and firm in the centre. Meanwhile cook the parsnips in a steamer for 10-15 minutes until they're soft, then cream them together with the butter, double cream and a seasoning of nutmeg, salt and pepper (this can be done by hand or in a food processor). When they're ready, keep them warm while you lay a sheet of greaseproof paper (slightly longer than the roulade) on a work surface and sprinkle the hazelnuts all over it.
When the roulade is cooked, turn it out on to the hazelnuts and carefully peel off the base paper. Spread the creamed parsnip evenly all over the sage and onion stuffing. Then roll up the roulade along the longest side, using the greaseproof paper underneath to help you pull it into a round (it's not difficult, it behaves very well).
Transfer the roulade to a serving plate and sprinkle the surface with a dusting of grated parmesan.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).