Last Friday I attempted to make the Christmas Roast recipe posted on Demuth’s Restaurant’s website. I’ve been eyeing the recipe since, well, Christmas, as its list of whole-food, vegan ingredients really appealed to me: nuts, seeds, carrots, parsnips, tofu, mushrooms, plus zesty spices like coriander and cumin. But as I embarked on the recipe, I realized why this dish was delegated to Christmas – the effort involved is epic!
The basic premise is this: Make a batter out of veggies, nuts and tofu, and spread it out on a layer of finely sliced strips of zucchini. Then saute a bunch of mushrooms and scatter them in a strip across the middle of the batter, then roll the whole thing up to make a big roll that you bake in foil.
I’m not sure where I erred, but the result was a bit more mushy than I would have preferred (the never-ending plight of veg-based loaves, roasts and burgers). I decided to start over and deconstructed the whole thing, forming smaller burger-shaped patties with a small pocket of mushrooms in the middle. I baked this for a good long while and what came out was a completely different dish. Still a little soft but delicious.
But the evolution of the roast doesn’t end there. After refrigerating the leftovers overnight, I went back to the burgers again – they evolved even more! This time they were even firmer, with a brilliant texture from all the nuts and seeds, and excellent “bite” from the mushrooms. In fact, the result would make a darn fine burger, not far from the ultimate veggie burger I yearn for.
This whole experience reflects a trend I’ve noticed with veggie burgers – the leftovers are almost always better, especially when they’ve been baked for a good long while in the oven.
It makes me wonder if I’m simply making my burgers way too moist, hence the mush?
This Friday is burger night once again. I think I will take some lessons from this roast experience and make my burgers ahead of time. That is, unless, I opt for having leftover roast for my Friday night burger instead, which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.
Recipe: Demuths Christmas Roast