Vegetarian Bests

Sherried Mushroom & Walnut Loaf

March 30, 2020

I once lived in a big, pale-green commune of sorts, where vegetarian was how you cooked, if you cooked at all. (Raw food was the other way most people ate.) The best meals were communal, and one recipe I loved for its fabulous flavor was this sherried mushroom-walnut loaf—delicious hot with gravy and veg, and just as good cold, sliced like an elegant pate. Several moves later, I missed the recipe enough to recreate it for my family. During these close-quarter months, this is a great healthy option for you to make: A mix of sherry-steeped baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, onions, brown rice and walnuts baked into a loaf with sage and parsley, this is a moist and meaty meal. Top it with mushroom gravy made with more criminis, onion, sherry and stock, and serve it with some mashed potatoes and garlic spinach on the side.

Makes 1, 9 x 5 loaf; 8 servings

Sherried Mushroom & Walnut Loaf
Serves 8
This yummy vegetarian main dish is full of goodness: sherry-simmered crimini mushrooms, walnuts, brown rice and onion, baked into a loaf and topped with mushroom gravy.
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  1. 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  2. 12 oz crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms, chopped fine (Note; substitute fresh button mushrooms if you must--just do not used canned.)
  3. 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  4. 1/2 cup medium dry sherry
  5. salt & freshly-cracked pepper to taste
  6. 5 or 6 dried sage leaves
  7. 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  8. 1 1/2 cups moistly-cooked brown rice
  9. 2 eggs, lightly beaten (omit the yolks if you like)
  10. 1/2 cup (or up to 1 cup, if you like the finished loaf crunchier) finely-chopped walnuts
  11. 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  12. 1 cup oat bran
  13. 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Mushroom Gravy
  1. 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  2. 6 ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  3. 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  4. 1/3 cup medium-dry sherry
  5. 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
  6. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 2 cups good-quality vegetable stock
  8. salt & freshly-ground pepper to taste
  1. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with coconut oil spray or vegetable oil spray. Or, line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy skillet, heat oil until shimmering. Add mushrooms and onions. Stir well; saute, covered, for five to 10 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and onions soft and transparent, and there is little liquid left in the pan. Add 1/2 cup sherry and stir, sauteing until a just bit of the sherry has been absorbed into the mix.
  3. Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground pepper
  4. Stir in the parsley; crush the sage and stir in. Saute two more minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine mushroom mixture with cooked brown rice, chopped walnuts, wheat germ and oat bran. Stir in eggs and mustard.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Press mixture into prepared loaf pan. Cover surface with parchment paper; then tightly cover loaf pan with foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil & parchment and bake for five more minutes. Remove from oven when finished and let rest.
  7. While loaf bakes, make gravy. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and mushroom until very soft and most of the cooking liquid has been absorbed. Add 1/3 cup sherry and saute for two more minutes. Remove mixture to a bowl. Melt butter or coconut oil in skillet; whisk in flour and toast until slightly browned; whisk in vegetable stock until thickened into a nice gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mushroom mixture back into skillet and stir with the gravy. Keep warm.
  8. When ready to serve, invert mushroom walnut loaf on to a serving platter. Slice. Serve piping hot with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and garlic spinach.
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