Set in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, Saramago Café Bar serves fresh, tasty vegan food (including delicious bread, home-baked every day) from the light-drenched foyer of the CCA building. It’s an ideal place to catch up with friends, with a relaxed and airy atmophere during the day and at night. We asked them to share a recipe and head chef Maria Blom has delivered, with this beautifully spiced nut roast. Ideal for Christmas or any winter day that you’d like to dedicate to creating a winter-warming celebration dish.



Cardamom-Spiced Nut Roast with a Creamy Leek & Dill Sauce (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Prep & cooking time: 2h 45 min        
Serves: approx 6 portions

For the nut roast:

  • 450g firm tofu - sliced into chunky squares
  • 60g porcini mushrooms
  • 150g chestnuts
  • 100g walnuts
  • 1 white onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5 celery sticks
  • 8 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 parsnip
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • handful of sage, leaves picked
  • 2½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 5 tbsp tamari soya sauce
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • salt & pepper


Start by preparing all the ingredients: Soak the porcini mushrooms in boiled water for half an hour. Put the chestnuts & walnuts through a food processor, or chop very well until you have a crumbly mix. Drain and process the porcini mushrooms in the same way until they are chopped well. Finely chop the onion, garlic, celery, tarragon and rosemary. Dice the parsnip and chestnut mushrooms. Fry the sage leaves until they’re crispy and leave them aside for later.

Fry off the onion, celery & parsnip and stir until soft, then add the minced garlic & fresh herbs, including the sage. Add the chestnut mushrooms to the pot and then the ground spices, followed by the Worcester and soy sauce. Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the risotto rice to the pot.

After stirring the rice into the mix for approximately five minutes, start gradually adding the vegetable stock. Keep stirring until the rice is al dente, then add the chestnut & walnut mix, and season to taste.

Leave the nut roast mix to cool down before pouring into a large bread tin, lined with parchment paper. Cover the nut roast with tin foil and bake in an oven heated to 190°C / Gas mark 5 for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered.


For the creamy leek & dill sauce:

  • 1 leek (the white part)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50ml white cooking wine
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml soy cream
  • salt and pepper


Finely chop the leek, garlic & dill. Fry off the leek, stirring until soft, then add garlic and mustard. Pour in the cooking wine and leave to cook down a bit, before adding the vegetable stock. Add the dill & soy cream at the end. Season to taste.