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A special occasion entree is usually a little fussier than an everyday family-style dish, but I'm betting on no regrets once you've tasted this scrumptious nutloaf that's especially attractive when baked in a springform pan. For convenience, prepare it a day ahead, cover it with tin foil, and reheat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with a salad and some steamed vegetables, then check out The Highest Perch for a grand finish of Blanc Mange, an elegant dessert of French origin.

Almond Nutloaf is one of the delicious recipes from Zel Allen's cookbook The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion published by Book Publishing Company in 2006.



ALMOND NUTLOAF


The ingredient list might look a bit daunting, but this is really a snap to assemble. The combination of exceptional flavor, crunchy texture, and delicate lightness make this a really special vegan dish.

Passover Note: To prepare the Almond Nutloaf for Passover, please be aware that the nutritional yeast is kosher but not kosher for Passover. Though the yeast, which is not a levening yeast, adds a pleasing flavor, the loaf will still be a very tasty and wholesome dish if you decide to eliminate it.

Yield: 6 to 8 servngs

Almonds

2 medium onions
1 pound (450 g) russet potatoes, unpeeled

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups (480 ml) whole almonds
1/3 cup (80 ml) walnuts
1/3 cup (80 ml) pecans

1 medium tomato, diced
1/3 cup (80 ml) plus 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
Dash cayenne (optional)

1 large ripe tomato, sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (gas mark 5), and lightly oil a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan or an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) glass baking dish.
  2. Cut the onions in half. Coarsely chop one of the halves and set it aside. Cut the remaining onions into chunks and pulse-chop them in the food processor until minced. Transfer the minced onions to a large bowl and set them aside.
  3. Scrub the potatoes, cut them into coarse chunks, and put them into a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan. Add the coarsely chopped garlic, the coarsely chopped onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and transfer them to a bowl. Mash the potatoes with a fork, and add to bowl with the reserved minced onions.
  4. Finely grind the almonds in the food processor. Add them to the bowl with the potatoes and onions.
  5. Process the walnuts and pecans in food processor until ground but still retain a little crunchy texture. Add them to the potatoes and onions..
  6. Add the diced tomato, water, nutritional yeast, minced garlic, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, nutmeg, basil, thyme, marjoram, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and optional cayenne to the bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  7. Spoon into the prepared pan, pressing with the back of a spoon or your hands to compact the mixture.
  8. Arrange the tomato slices over top and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Use a flatware knife to loosen the edges of the loaf, then release the springform sides and cut the loaf into wedges or squares and serve.

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