Mushroom, Walnut & Tofu Sausage Rolls
Every time we make these little pockets of deliciousness, they get devoured exceedingly quickly. They make a great savoury dish to bring to a gathering, and are loved by vegans and non-vegans alike.
Despite being super-duper easy to make, your guests will eat them with "oohs" and "ahhs" & wide eyes of appreciation at your grand efforts in the kitchen - so they're one of those fab recipes to have on hand when somebody says "bring a plate to share".
I made this batch recently for a thank you morning tea for my son's teachers, and because our garden is filled with colourful autumn leaves, I used their golden-red tones to decorate the platter.
Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins (particularly riboflavin, niacin & pantothenic acid) as well as copper and selenium.
They are technically not a vegetable, in fact they are not even in the Plant Kingdom - and are not in the Animal Kingdom either, although they share biochemical and genetic characteristics of both plants and animals, just to make them more interesting!! Mushrooms form part of the Fungi Kingdom, which also includes micro-organisms like yeasts and moulds, and are one of their oldest forms of life on the planet - forming around one billion years ago.
Fungi used to be classified as part of the Plant Kingdom, largely because they are also immobile, have cell walls which work in a similar way and can reproduce in both sexual and asexual means, and have spores as do ferns and mosses. However, they cannot photosynthesise, just like animals. With a greater understanding of how the cell walls worked which was different to both plants and animals, and yet contained elements of both, they were named as their own separate kingdom of Fungi in 2007.
A mushroom is the "fruit" or spore-bearing development, of a particular type of Fungi.
But to get to the point, how to make these delicious morsels of savouriness? Sometimes I make them with store-bought vegan puff pastry (as I did here), sometimes with home-made walnut and olive oil wholemeal spelt pastry, and sometimes with phyllo pastry layered up with olive oil. They are all delicious - so use whatever you prefer.
I generally use a mix of mushrooms, including the larger field mushrooms to get that umami flavour, with some button mushrooms which provide a different texture. Herbs vary as to what is on hand, but fresh thyme is an absolute must as it really brings out the flavour of the mushrooms. Nuts here were walnuts, but sometimes I'll use hazelnuts or chestnuts.
Tofu & Walnut Sausage Rolls
- 6 sheets vegan puff pastry, frozen
- splash virgin olive oil
- 800 gm mixed mushrooms
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried porcini powder, or a tablespoon of dried porcini soaked in hot water
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 250 gm silken tofu, drained
- plant milk or aquafaba for brushing pastry
- couple tablespoons sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
- If using dried porcini mushrooms, soak them in hot water and set aside.
- Chop/blitz mushrooms in food processor until they form a fine mixture. Finely slice spring onions & chop garlic.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy bottom frypan, and saute mushrooms, spring onions & garlic until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid. Stir through the porcini powder or soaked porcini, walnuts and fresh thyme and remove from heat.
- With your hands, crumble the soft tofu into the mushroom mixture and stir through with a wooden spoon until the colour is amalgamated. Set aside to cool.
- Defrost puff pastry sheets on bench until just soft enough to handle.
- Place a "sausage" shaped dollop of mushroom mixture on the edge of each pastry sheet, and roll into a long sausage roll. Shape. To close, brush the edges of the pastry with water.
- Arrange sausage rolls on steel baking sheet, brush with a little plant milk or aquafaba and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place in oven to bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, then slice into small pieces.
- They are very moist, so do not need a sauce for serving, but if you wish, a homemade spiced tomato relish is a yummy accompaniment.
They can be served cold for a picnic, or lightly reheated in an oven - but generally, in our house, they mostly get devoured when they are fresh out of the oven!
If you try them, please let us know in the comments how you went with the recipe.