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Celeriac mushroom and spinach wellington

Fri, 22 January, 2021

Vegetarians claim Wellington – and vegans too, with a couple of straightforward swaps. Mushrooms, spinach, roasted celeriac and the secret trick: nori sheets to help roll up the layers.

vegetarian wellington

Beef Wellington is overrated

Wellington is really just a glorified beef sandwich. Pastry instead of bread, spread with pate and filled with a whole fillet of beef. Ooof – just thinking about it makes me feel bloated.

But I should stop being a hypocrite as I love a good beef Wellington.

And it’s a perfect dish to prepare for Valentine’s Day dinner! Slog all day, trying to get your beef seared perfectly, making mushroom duxelles which even sounds ridiculous, then overbaking it by a fraction of a second and bursting into tears because it’s grey and miserable instead of juicy and pink. Thank heavens for the pink champagne.

Joking aside, it is hard work. But what if your Valentine is a vegetarian? Or you are? Or both? Well, then nothing doing but create and construct a vegetarian version of the Wellington.

celeriac wellington

Veggie Wellie

Be warned: it is quite a slog too. There is less stress though as overcooking celeriac isn’t in the register of chef’s demons. On the other hand it doesn’t mean you should try to get it medium rare.

I picked celeriac for the centre. There isn’t much you can do to make it taste other than like celeriac but it’s a pleasant earthy flavour. And it’s firm – and if you’re making a veggie approximation of Wellington beef, don’t turn it into a Wellington meatloaf by mincing nuts and the usual veggie suspects.

It doesn’t look like meat but then it’s not supposed to. It’s not about aesthetics but textures: firm, soft, pastry. And about flavours: sweet, umami, pastry. Didn’t you know ‘pastry’ was a flavour?

celeriac mushroom and spinach wellington

Precook the celeriac

It obviously has to be pre-cooked before going into the pastry parcel as the beast takes its time to soften. Wrap it in foil and bake for up to an hour and a half while you prepare the lovely mushroom and spinach fillings.

Fresh or frozen spinach?

It’s rather a wintry dish in my view so I’d always use frozen spinach out of season.

But of course fresh spinach will make a lovely filling: I’d wash it, chop it roughly and then subject to the same treatment as frozen in my recipe; it will take a fraction of the time.

vegetarian or vegan wellington

Mushroom duxelles

As it happens, duxelles is always made from mushrooms so my heading above is a bit like ‘liquid soup’ or ‘egg white meringue’. But just writing these words makes me itch for a nouvelle approach to old duxelles: perhaps fennel duxelles? Ha! Next time for sure!

I also streamline the method: instead of finely chopping the mushrooms, I blitz them roughly with a stick blender when cooked.

Wrapping the celeriac Wellington

It’s easy, and you can cut it even shorter if you don’t mind the two fillings mixing a little. I wanted to keep them separate and so a couple of sheets of nori found their way into a dish which is not sushi. They work perfectly too.

But the filling, spinach or mushroom, whichever first, can be spread directly onto the pastry sheet. You can then dollop the other filling on and rest the celeriac cylinder in the middle. That makes it somewhat easier to roll tightly and to seal.

Don’t skip the chilling before baking stage though: puff pastry must go to the oven cold, otherwise it will leak butter and generally misbehave.

veggie version of beef wellington

More celeriac recipes

Salt baked celeriac, sweet and earthy and a Michelin grade impressive centrepiece dish. Salt crust dough made from flavoured salt and flour, you crack it open like an enormous soft boiled egg. Or a pathologist opening the skull.

Celeriac fondant makes a great side dish. Recipes featuring celeriac are usually for mash or puree, but dicing the celeriac root and cooking it in butter brings out the great flavour.

Celeriac, carrot and apple remoulade with creme fraiche and wholegrain mustard dressing is a seasonal winter salad and a great side dish for seafood.

More savoury puff pastry recipes

Fig and prosciutto tart with ready-rolled puff pastry takes about five minutes to prepare and twenty to bake. A divine, seasonal lunch or starter dish, best made with gorgeous Bursa figs.

Tomato tarte Tatin recipe, using confit slow roasted tomatoes. Tomato Tatin can be made as one large tarte or individual mini tomato Tatins. It’s an easy and delicious snack or appetiser.

Mini party rolls, filled with chipolata sausages or ham and cheese filling. They are easy to prepare and invariably the biggest hit with party people.

baked celeriac wrapped in pastry

Celeriac mushroom and spinach wellington

Servings: 2Time: 3 hours


  • 1 medium celeriac
  • vegetable oil
  • 30g (12 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter (swap for oil for vegan version)
  • 120g (4 oz.) fresh chestnut mushrooms
  • 350g (12 oz.) frozen spinach
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper
  • 30g (2 tbsp) pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan (skip for vegan version)
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (all-butter or vegan), approx. 30 x 30cm
  • 1 beaten egg, for brushing


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

2. Peel the celeriac and trim it to obtain a cylinder about 4cm in diameter (like a fillet of beef). Brush it with oil, wrap tightly in foil and bake for 1 – 1 ½ hour, until tender when pricked with a fork. Leave to cool.

baked celeriac

3. While the celeriac is baking, make the fillings. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Roughly chop the chestnut mushrooms.

4. Place the spinach in a saucepan with 1 tbsp butter and cook over high heat until it thaws, and all the moisture is cooked off, about 30 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper by the end of cooking time.

cooking spinach

5. Melt the other 1 tbsp of butter in another saucepan and add the chestnut mushrooms. Cook until coloured, then scoop the dried mushrooms from the soaking liquid and add to the pan. Reserve the liquid.

6. Cook the mushrooms stirring often until coloured and a little caramelised. Add the soaking liquid in two goes and reduce it completely each time. Season with salt and pepper by the end of cooking time.

cooking mushrooms

7. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet. Add half to the spinach and blitz it very briefly with a stick blender. Add the rest of the pine nuts, taste for seasoning and adjust.

spinach filling

8. Blitz the mushrooms with the stick blender roughly, so some chunks remain. Add the parsley and Parmesan, mix, taste for seasoning and adjust. Chill both fillings in the fridge if the celeriac is still cooking or cooling.

mushroom duxelles

9. Place 2 nori sheets on the work surface. Measure the celeriac with kitchen string: you’ll want a surface a little wider than its circumference and long enough to roll it whole. Trim the nori with scissors accordingly.

10. Spread the spinach on the nori sheets. Cover with the other 2 nori sheets, trimmed, and spread the mushroom filling over it. Place the celeriac at one short end and wrap it completely. You can help yourself with an outer layer of cling film. Tuck in the sides.

rolling wellington in nori

11. Roll out the pastry sheet to make it supple. Place the prepared celeriac at the short end and roll it up. Brush the end of the pastry with egg to help it stick. Seal the sides and trim excess pastry. Place the Wellington in the fridge for 30 minutes.

rolling wellington in pastry

12. If you switched off the oven, turn it back on to 200C/400F/gas 6. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment.

13. Place the Wellington on the baking sheet and brush it all over with egg. Score the top with a sharp knife, without cutting through the pastry.

14. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crisp.

baked vegetarian wellington

15. Let it stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with peas, mashed potatoes or fries.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

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