Guest chef

Áine Carlin

Former film actress Áine is a vegan food and fashion blogger. Her cookbook, Keep It Vegan, offers over 100 straightforward and delicious recipes for all occasions.

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Savoury parsnip and pecan slice

  • Makes 6-8 slices
  • Prep 35 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 50 mins, plus cooling
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Savoury parsnip and pecan slice
Savoury parsnip and pecan slice

step by step

  • 1Heat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a large pan. Add the shallots and the celery. Cover and sweat for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften. Season, add the garlic and cook slowly over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
  • 2Coarsely grate the parsnips and add to the pan. Stir to combine, cover and allow the parsnip to soften for a few minutes: if it begins to stick, add a splash of water.
  • This savoury parsnip and pecan slice will surely win over even the most hardened carnivore. Best of all, leftovers are perfect for sandwiches – so make sure to hide a slice for Boxing Day.
  • 3Finely chop half the sage and add to the parsnip mix. Season, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • 4Put the bread in a food processor with the rosemary and remaining sage. Season and pulse until it forms coarse breadcrumbs.
  • 5Add the herby crumbs to the parsnip pan, stir, and cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add the margarine. Once the mixture starts to thicken and become a little tacky, stir through the pecans, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • 6Grease and line the base of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and tumble in the parsnip mixture. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Cover with greased kitchen foil.
  • 7Bake for 40 minutes before removing the foil and baking for a further 15 minutes.
  • 8Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before gently tipping it out of the tin and onto a serving plate.
  • 9Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pan. When hot, add a few sage leaves and rosemary needles and fry for a few seconds until crisp. Salt lightly then tip onto the loaf for decoration.
  • Recipe photograph by Toby Scott

Get ahead

Make up to step 6 the day before, then let it cool completely, cover and chill.

You will need

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
  • 3 echalion shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 750g parsnips, peeled
  • 1 x 20g pack sage, leaves only, plus extra to serve
  • 225g stale bread (equivalent to 5-6 slices of bread)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g pecans, chopped

+ Nutritional Information