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Nut Loaf

Preparation 30 min Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1:30

This is a totally old-school and totally delicious nut loaf recipe. Thinking about it reminds me of 1960s hippie culture in the best possible way, but the result is more like the best of the 1950s -- a classic loaf to serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable on the side. It was a big hit at our Christmas this year, even among carnivores -- and I made a stuffed pork loin, too. *You can make good use of a food processor here for chopping the mushrooms, walnuts and cashews with the blade and shredding the gouda and fontina with the shredding disk. The unbaked mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours if you'd like to prep ahead of time. Baked leftovers keep well for several days and are delicious warm or cold.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, minced*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups walnuts, minced*
  • 1 cup cashews, minced*
  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 6 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
  • 4 ounces fontina, shredded
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (generous 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • A few good grinds black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Spray a 9- or 10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment that overhangs slightly on two sides.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a sprinkle of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms and another sprinkle of the salt, raise heat to high, and cook until they have released their juices and reabsorbed them, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, tarragon and sage and cook 2 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and cottage cheese.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the brown rice, walnuts and cashews. Stir in the egg mixture, then add the mushroom mixture, cheeses, parsley, remaining salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Spoon mixture into loaf pan and smooth top. If desired, decorate with a few mushroom slices or walnut halves. Place loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until firm, about 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a platter to serve.
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