Vegetarian Meatloaf with Mixed Nuts

serves 6-8


2 tbsp virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling
2 onions, one finely chopped and one cut into thin wedges
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 cup cooked and peeled chestnuts
1 cup mixed chopped nuts
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
8 oz blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus extra sprigs to garnish
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and cut into thin wedges
1 zucchini, about 4 oz, cut into thin wedges


  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped onion, half of the garlic, and the celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer to a food processor with next 5 ingredients. Using the pulse button, blend the ingredients together, then slowly blend in the egg to form a stiff mixture. Season.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion wedges, remaining garlic, red bell pepper, and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Place half the nut mixture in a lightly oiled 2-lb loaf pan and smooth the surface. Place the onion and pepper mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining nut mixture and press down firmly. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven, 350 degrees F, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 25-35 minutes, until firm.