I love savoury goodies, much more so than the sweet stuff. Best of all for me is pastry, be it shortcrust or puff pastry. I just love the way it crumbles when you bite into it, sending golden crumbs all down your front and sticking to the side of your mouth.
In my pre-vegetarian and vegan days, I adored a home-baked sausage roll and I did miss letting go of this delicious little snack. It conjured up happy memories of Christmas as a child. Also, be it bite-size or jumbo, every buffet or picnic contained these tasty morsels. Eaten hot or cold it didn’t matter.
It was not so much the meat I missed, but just the way the two textures went so well together. I have tried vegetarian sausage rolls and there were a couple I liked, then I became a vegan. Since then I have not found one that has been to my taste. I wanted the soft centre, all the ones I tried were too dry for me or far too spicy.
I do like a challenge, something to get the cogs turning. So mission vegan sausage roll started. I wanted a filling that rolled like sausage meat and was soft and pliable. Then it hit me, just when I was making a batch of vegan meatballs. It occurred to me that maybe if I tweaked the mixture a little, then I could have the texture I wanted. All I needed then was to find a flavour balance to fit. I chose to go down the Italian route, the reason for that was that my greenhouse was bursting to the seams with a delicious variety of tomatoes and big pots of basil.
I hope you like these as much as I do. I am sure I will come up with different versions of these in the future, for now, though these will do me just fine. They were tested the first time, warm with some apple chutney for company. Once again Christmas, picnics or any buffet will include this savoury delight.
Vegan savoury rolls
- Makes approximately 18
- Preparation Time 15-20 Minutes
- Baking Time 20 Minutes
Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and egg-free
- 2 finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 6 tbsp grated vegan parmesan
- 60 g chopped walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- A few sprigs of fresh basil
- 1 flax egg ( 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds mixed with 2 1/2 Tbsp hot water)
- 1Tin of green lentils drained then rinsed
- 2 tbsp gluten-free dried breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp salt and ground black pepper
- 4 sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 pack of vegan/gluten-free puff pastry
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and preheat the oven to 190C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add 1tbsp olive oil to the pan and saute the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes until slightly golden but not too brown. Set to one side.
Mix the ground flaxseeds to the hot water and leave to gel for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, tomato paste, herbs, nuts, breadcrumbs, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes to a food processer or blender and blitz for 2 minutes. Next add the olive oil, seasoning, flaxseed mix and the cooked shallots and garlic.
With the food processor, pulse or have it on low speed and combine together while still containing a little texture, we are not looking for a paste. Taste a little to check the flavour is to your liking, adding more herbs, parmesan or salt and pepper if needed. Also if the mixture is too damp add some more breadcrumbs a tsp at a time until you get the right consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add a touch of water or oil. Be very careful, as we need to be able to roll the mixture into a sausage shape.
Scrape into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and place into the fridge for at least an hour. The colder the filling the better * see notes
Remove the pastry from the fridge about 10 minutes before you are ready to use, this makes sure it is nice and pliable.
Place the pastry onto a lightly floured large board, divide widthwise into three equal rectangles. Remove the filling from the fridge, divide it into three. Form each piece into a sausage shape, roughly the length of each rectangle. Place each sausage in the middle of each pastry strip, brush the edges with non-dairy milk and fold over. Seal the edges with a fork, trimming off any excess pastry. Do the same to all three, brush the tops with milk( or rapeseed oil) then cut each roll into 6 equal pieces ( you may want bigger or small rolls).
Place onto the baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.
You can make the mixture in advance, roll it into sausage shapes, freeze, wrap in clingfilm then store back into the freezer. These sausages can be popped onto the pastry frozen and cooked. Now I will always keep a batch in my freezer, ready in case guests arrive unexpectantly as one thing I do always have in the fridge is a pack of puff pastry.
Instead of an egg wash to make my pastry look glossy and golden, I use rapeseed oil for its vibrant colour on savoury items or a little aquafaba. If the colour is not so important then just glaze with non-dairy milk.
These will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or will freeze for up to 3 months/
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If you decide to give this recipe a try, please tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments.