Squash & Cranberry Christmas Wreath – Shortcrust pastry filled with squash, onion, chestnuts, quinoa and cranberries to make a festive treat to wow your friends and family. A perfect vegan recipe for when you have had all the turkey and trimmings and fancy something different.
Makes one large wreath Serves 6-8
400g squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small cubes
120g cooked quinoa (I cooked mine in vegetable stock for more flavour)
80g dried cranberries
Two handfuls spinach
Large handful pecans, chopped
Nutmeg, to taste
Juice 1/2 lemon
100g vegan feta, chopped (or feta for non-vegan)
500g block vegan shortcrust pastry
Almond milk, for brushing
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Seasoning, to taste
Start by preheating the oven to 200C. Place your squash on a lined baking tray and drizzle in oil. Sprinkle over the seasoning, then toss so that all cubes are evenly covered. Place in the oven to roast for 30 to 40 minutes, constantly checking that they are not browning too fast. Remove from the oven when starting to caramelise.
In the meantime, heat some oil in a pan, then fry the onion for a few minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to fry, stirring often, until the onion is starting to go translucent. Tip in the cooked quinoa, chestnuts, cranberries, pecans and cooked squash, then fry on a low to medium heat, stirring often. Once warmed and heated through, stir in the spinach, parsley, lemon juice and season to taste – add some chilli flakes to the mix, if desired, for heat. Cook until warm and set aside.
Roll out the pastry into a rectangle (roughly 60cm long and 20cm wide). Sprinkle over half of the feta, leaving a one cm border around the long edges and a 2cm border on the short edges. Spoon over the cooked squash mixture, again ensuring you leave a border, then sprinkle over the remaining feta.
Fold the two shorter ends of pastry over (this stops the filling from escaping), then roll the pastry to create a long sausage shape. Bring the two ends together to form a wreath, then seal with a brush of almond milk. Place in the fridge to firm for an hour.
Cut scores into the top of the wreath, then brush all over with almond milk. Place in the oven at 180C to bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool slightly, before cutting and serving.