From a young age, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother which is where my love and passion of cooking stems from. I inherited a wealth of knowledge from watching how they married flavors and ingredients to create family favorites, sometimes from the simplest of ingredients.
I graduated from the College of Food at University College Birmingham in 2011, earning an advanced degree in culinary arts management. Within a year, I had gone on to become the face of supermarket giant Tesco’s ready meal campaign. A book showcasing my version of modern Indian cuisine, “My Modern Indian Kitchen,” was launched in 2017, during which I also recognized as the Black Country’s Master of Food, and awarded as the Midlands’ Rising Star in food, drink and hospitality. The same year, I put up my own platform and became a food consultant.
I am launching her second book, “The Delicious Book of Dhal,” while still working with clients to develop and innovate market creations across a variety of categories – from ready meals, to recipe meal boxes to restaurant menus. I also work closely with regional organizations and event planners to judge food and hospitality awards.
This roast vegetable Wellington is one of my vegetarian favorite dishes for a Christmas dinner centerpiece. It is a labor of love that delivers an abundance of flavors, textures, and aromas, especially when sliced at the dinner table in front of your guests.
I came up with this dish a few years ago when experimenting with using roasted vegetables as meal replacers, and I was left pleasantly surprised by the results.
Marinating and slow roasting the carrots and beetroot in olive oil, and a blend of fresh herbs results in a rich depth of flavour, and a wonderful succulent texture. It is these attributes which make me really love this dish, as the end product showcases just how delicious simple ingredients can taste when treated and cared for with love and respect.
Traditionally, a Wellington is a dish similar to a pie thatdates back to England in the 1800s. The recipe has evolved, but over 200 years later it is still widely popular and loved by many, especially as a celebratory dish.
For The Roasted Vegetables
- 4 whole carrots, peeled, top & tailed
- 6/7 whole beetroots, peeled, top & tailed
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs
For The Mushroom Duxelle
- 1 knob unsalted butter
- 2-3 shallots, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- Half cup white wine
- 14 oz (400g) chestnut mushrooms, coarsely minced/ food processed
- ½ tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 11.3 oz (320g) puff pastry, ready to roll sheet
- 3.5 oz (100g) baby spinach, steamed
- Duxelle mixture
- Roasted vegetables
- Melted butter, to glaze
- Sesame seeds, to garnish
Steamed seasonal veg
- Start by roasting the root vegetables. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. In a bowl tumble the root veg in the olive oil, salt, black pepper, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme sprigs. Transfer the marinated veg onto a baking tray.
- Roast the vegetables for 2 hours until soft all the way through. Shake the pan every 20- 30 minutes to ensure the vegetables are cooking evenly.
- Whilst the vegetables are roasting, prepare the Duxelle. In a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat and add in the finely chopped shallots, salt and black pepper.
- Fry until softened. Once soft, add in the garlic and fry for a further minute.
- Next, Pour in the white wine, stir well and simmer until the wine has completely reduced.
- When the wine has reduced, add in the minced mushrooms and thyme. Stir well and saute on a medium heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally so that all the liquid has been completely evaporated.
- Once the mixture has reduced, stir in the chopped parsley and leave aside to cool.
- Once the beetroot and carrots are completely roasted and softened through, leave the tray aside until the vegetables have cooled to room temperature.
- Whilst the duxelle and vegetables are cooling, prepare the steamed spinach. Pour enough boiling water into a saucepan to come up by approximately an inch, place a colander on top of the pan (ensuring that the colander is not touching the water). Place the pan and colander on a medium heat and place the spinach into the colander. Allow the spinach to wilt for 1-2 minutes in the steam and then remove the colander from the pan.
- Gently arrange the spinach leaves on a sheet of kitchen paper in a square, just a bit smaller than the kitchen paper. Cover the square of spinach gently with another sheet of kitchen paper and leave aside.
- When all the components are cool, prepare to assemble the Wellington. For this stage, it is important to have everything ready and close to hand, such as the melted butter and sesame seeds.
- On a large flat baking tray, lay out a sheet of baking parchment and place the sheet of pastry on top, and gently flatten using clean hands. Transfer the square sheet of steamed spinach onto the center of the pastry, spoon the Duxelle mixture onto the spinach and spread out over the spinach using the back of a spoon.
- Next, gently arrange the roasted vegetables in a line down the middle of the spinach and duxelle. The vegetables should be arranged quite tightly and touching one another.
- Next, fold over the uncovered sides of the pastry to cover the filling. Use the baking paper to help you. Once the two sides of pastry have met, fold over the ends to cover the gaps.
- Gently roll over the Wellington so that the folded sides and ends are hidden and the smoother side is on top. Brush over with the melted butter and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
- Bake the Wellington in a preheated oven on gas mark 6 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up. Leave Wellington to rest for 5 minutes before carving.
- Serve with steamed seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes and vegetarian gravy.