This is part of the Vegan Christmas series.
Ever since I stopped eating meat over 12 years ago, whenever it’s been our Christmas meal, or even just a roast, I’ve always only eaten the veg. I’ve never felt the need to replace the ‘main’ (meat) part of the meal with something else; I’ve always been quite happy piling my plate high with the veggie sides.
But for this vegan Christmas series, I wanted to make a main that would perfectly accompany these veggies. I didn’t want to do a nut roast as I find them obvious, as well as expensive (so many nuts!), so I decided to go down the pastry route instead.
This is almost a sausage roll, and yet it’s not. The traditional sage and onion flavours are so perfect for a Christmas roast that it would be difficult for even the hard-core meat lovers to not want a slice.
It’s incredibly easy to make; simple and delicious. If you’ve not used silken tofu in a recipe before, don’t be put off! It might seem odd but it gives depth to the dish and helps to ‘bulk out’ the filling. You won’t even know it’s there.
I added in mushrooms to this, which I wanted to avoid initially, because mushrooms are so common in veggie dishes that it’s not even funny. But actually they go really well and add a bit more depth, without it being over poweringly mushroomy. It’s certainly not the main focus of the dish, which I think makes them OK to add.
The filling for this dish makes a lot, so it depends on the size of your pastry how much you’ll need. I made 2 plaits (which would serve about 4), but had enough filling for about another 1 and a half. You could easily just freeze the filling and save it for another date when you want to make it again if you wish.
This goes absolutely perfectly with the cranberry sauce, so I recommend you making both together. The super sweetness from the sauce matches perfectly with the herby sage and onion flavours.
Creating the plait is really easy but looks effective. I’ve done my best to explain how to create the plait, but if you’re a bit confused, there are plenty of YouTube videos that explain really well how to make one, so I recommend watching one of them before you start if you’re not sure. It’s one of those things where a visual representation is easier than written.
You could make this the day before and then re-heat in the oven before serving.
Vegan Sage and Onion Pastry Plait
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 100g shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 300g silken tofu
- 60g breadcrumbs
- 15g fresh sage, finely chopped
- 3tbsp soy sauce
- 2-3 sheets frozen puff pastry
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20ml almond milk (or alternative dairy-free milk)
- Step 1 Pre-heat your own to 180 degrees pan. Place your baking tray in the oven to heat
- Step 2 Begin by taking out your puff pastry and thawing, as per the package instructions
- Step 3 In a large saucepan, heat your olive oil over a medium heat
- Step 4 Once hot, add in your onions and sauté for a couple of minutes
- Step 5 As they are beginning to go soft, add in your garlic and your mushrooms
- Step 6 Cook until everything is soft and cooked through
- Step 7 Remove from the heat and add to a large bowl
- Step 8 In a food processor or blender, blend your silken tofu until smooth
- Step 9 To your bowl with the onion mix, add your blended tofu, breadcrumbs, sage, soy sauce and pepper. Mix well and set aside
- Step 10 On a lightly floured surface place down your puff pastry sheet
- Step 11 With a sharp knife, begin by cutting off the top corners of your pastry, and triangle cuts at the bottom (see diagram at bottom of recipe)
- Step 12 Going down one side, make slanted cuts into the pastry at the same angle as the corner you just cut off. Leave about a one inch space between each cut. Make sure not to cut too far into the pastry sheet, as you need to leave about a 2 inch gap down the middle
- Step 13 Repeat on the other side
- Step 14 try to ensure they are at the same angle and on the same row as the first side
- Step 15 Put your filling into the center of the pastry sheet. Do not overfill or it will burst out the sides
- Step 16 Now to make your plait. Begin by folding over the top of the pastry onto the filling
- Step 17 Then, take one strip of pastry from one side, and fold it over the filling. Take a slice from the other side, and bring it over as well
- Step 18 Repeat all the way down, making sure to not leave any gaps
- Step 19 Fold the bottom up to close the gap at the end
- Step 20 With a brush, lightly brush your plait with almond milk
- Step 21 Place on the pre-heated baking tray and cook for 22 minutes until golden
- Step 22 Serve!
As stated above, you can cook this the day before and then re-heat in the oven when needed.
And here’s my little diagram of where to make the cuts for your pastry. The top corners should be removed completely, as should the two triangles at the bottom. It’s not the most exciting of diagrams, but is probably a bit easier to understand Enjoy!