Lorraine Fitzmaurice serves up a tasty vegetarian alternative Christmas dinner


  • 60 g brown basmati rice
  • pinch saffron, or turmeric
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3" piece)
  • 1 onion (halved and finely sliced)
  • 600 g brown cap mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 300 g butternut squash (diced 2 cm cubes)
  • butter
  • sunflower oil
  • 1 tblsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tblsp fresh tarragon (finely chopped)
  • 2 free range eggs (hard boiled and roughly chopped)
  • sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper
  • 300 g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 free range egg (beaten)
  • vegetarian gravy:
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • soy sauce to taste
  • 2 tsp arrow root, corn flour, or kuzu to thicken


  • Wash the rice and place in a pot with a tight lid. Add 100mls of water, pinch of salt, pinch of saffron, zest of the lemon and the cinnamon stick.
  • Bring to a boil, lower the heat, place a tight lid on top and simmer on low for 45 mins.
  • Pre heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Place the butternut squash cubes on to a baking tray and toss in a little sunflower oil and a small pinch of salt. Place on the top shelf of a hot oven for 20 mins until roasted. Set aside.
  • Heat sunflower oil in a pan and fry the onions over a medium heat with a small pinch of salt until golden and the ends browned. Set aside. Melt a table spoon of butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms until golden. Set aside.
  • Fluff up the rice and remove the cinnamon stick. Place in a bowl, along with the onion, mushroom, butternut squash, parsley, tarragon, and hard boiled eggs.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Oil a baking tray. Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  • Place the pastry on a flat surface. Cut a 8inx12in (20cmx30cm) rectangle from the pastry.
  • Place the filling down the centre of the rectangle and bring the sides of the pastry together and pinch the pastry together to seal.
  • With the remainder of the pastry cut out some shapes of leaves to decorate the pie. Brush the pie with beaten egg and press the leaf shapes on. Brush them with egg. Place on the oiled baking and place in the centre of the oven 30 minutes until golden.
  • While the pie is baking make the gravy.
  • Warm some sunflower oil in a pan and saute the onion and thyme leaves in a pan over a medium heat.
  • Allow to soften but not brown. Add the vegetable stock.
  • Blend the arrowroot in a little cold water and add to the pan.
  • Stir the gravy until it thickens. If it is too thick add water until it reaches the thickness preferred.
  • Season with soya sauce and pour into a gravy boat to serve.

More by Lorraine Fitzmaurice:

Find recipes by keyword:

autumn christmas easter family dinners irish spring summer winter vegetarian mains the afternoon show