Winter Vegetables & Gruyère Parcels

This is very tasty dish and extremely convenient as it can be prepared in advance and frozen. Ideal for those who don’t want to be tied to the kitchen when entertaining guests or want to start preparing meals after one of those lovely long winter walks.

Ingredients - serves 6

For the pastry (ready made puff pastry can be used as an alternative)
5oz (150g) Plain flour 3oz (75g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3oz (75g) gruyère cheese, grated 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
For the filling
5oz (150g) root vegetables eg carrots, leaks, sweet potato and swede, peeled and cut into ½ inch (1cm) dice 3oz (75g) parsnips, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon freshly chopped thyme ¼ of a 200g tin of vacuum packed chestnuts
3½oz (100g) gruyère cheese, grated 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper ½oz (15g) butter
3½oz (100g) long grain brown rice A little beaten egg to glaze
3½oz (100g) fresh white breadcrumbs Pinch of nutmeg


  1. To make the pastry, place the flour in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cheese. Gradually pour in 1 tablespoon water and the egg, stirring until if forms a firm dough. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  2. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, drain and cool.
  3. Place the diced vegetables, garlic, olive oil and butter in a small roasting tin and cook in the top of the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown and slightly caramelised. Leave to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the roasted vegetables with the cooked rice, breadcrumbs, grated parsnips, thyme, chestnuts, cheeses, eggs, seasoning and nutmeg. Mix together well, cover and chill for 10 mins.
  5. Roll out the pastry and cut into six 6 inch (15cm) squares. Place a ball of the rice mixture into the centre of each square and brush the edges with the egg glaze. Carefully bring the corners of the pastry to the centre (like an envelope) and crimp the edges to seal.*
  6. Place the parcels on a baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and cook in an oven preheated to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

* The parcels can be frozen after stage 5 above. When ready to use, defrost thoroughly, brush with beaten egg and cook as above.

Further vegetarian dishes are planned for the summer and again in October. Thanks go to Heather Northfield for her contributions. If anyone else has vegetarian favourites, please let me know.



Root vegetables
Gruyere Cheese