Vegetarian Wellington with roasted spiced pumpkin, feta and grains

A showstopping vegetarian centrepiece.
A showstopping vegetarian centrepiece. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Vegetarian

I love this. I would eat this again and again and plan on making it for my Christmas spread. But don't let that limit you, it should be a meal any time of the year. The benefit is cooking and prepping the fillings when you can, perhaps through the week, and simply assembling with the pastry on the day of serving. These kind of meals, the ones that offer plenty of convenience in terms of time, are likely the ones we actually end up cooking, and hopefully more than once!

Ingredients

1kg Japanese pumpkin, cut into wedges

½ tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, diced

1½ tbsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 cup chopped coriander, leaves and stems

2 cups mixed grain blend (I used white rice, basmati rice, farro, yellow split peas, green lentils and red quinoa)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 x 375g packets Careme all-butter puff pastry

¾ cup Persian-style feta

Egg wash

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

Topping

1 tbsp dried rose petals

1 tbsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed

pinch sumac

pinch nigella seeds

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175C fan-forced (195C conventional). Line a baking tray with baking paper and add the pumpkin pieces. Sprinkle with ground cumin then drizzle with two tablespoons of oil and roast for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin has a lovely caramelised colour and is cooked through. Remove the seeds then scoop the flesh into a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Place a frypan over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and once shimmering, add the onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the cumin seeds and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from the heat, add the pomegranate molasses and chopped coriander. Stir to combine, season generously with salt and pepper then turn out into a bowl until ready to assemble the Wellington.

3. Cook the mixed grains according to packet instructions. As a general rule of thumb, add 1 cup of mix to 2 cups of liquid (stock being used here) and bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until desired consistency. Strain and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional). Grease and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Roll out 1 sheet of pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 25cm x 35cm rectangle.

5. Place the pastry rectangle on the tray and cover with the rice mixture leaving a 1.5cm border all the way around – you will have to mound the mixture a little bit. Top with the pumpkin mixture then crumble over the feta. Finish with the coriander-onion mixture.

6. Roll out the second sheet of pastry on a lightly floured work surface then gently lay over the top of the mixture, pressing down around the edges with a fork to seal. Trim off any excess pastry, then use a knife to make small slashes across the top of the Wellington.

7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the pastry generously with egg wash then bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

8. Remove from the oven and scatter over the rose petals, peppercorns and nigella seeds before serving.