Sausage rolls. Surely the staple of any football grandfinal party, or basically any party of substance, as far as I’m concerned. Aside from fairy bread, sausage rolls are my ‘beeline item’ at any gathering. Or, should I say, were.
When I went vegetarian, I still had commercial options. Namely, spinach feta pastries, which I still have dreams about. When I went gluten free, however, those options rapidly diminished. THEN I WENT FODMAP.
I care not for football or watching any sort of sport on tv, but I care deeply about party food. More importantly, party food that is accessible to all. With that in mind, I created these vegetarian, FODMAP friendly and gluten free sausage rolls. They’re super easy to make and ready to go in less than an hour. About the same amount of time as it takes to dig up a packet of the regular variety from the depths of your freezer.
Regular vego sausage rolls seem to contain fake gluten meat, legumes, onion or garlic. These ones use walnuts, tofu, cottage cheese and egg. Please don’t be put off by that visual. Walnuts are considered high FODMAP at 135g servings or less – this recipes divides 100g of walnuts between 16 odd rolls. Cottage cheese is considered reasonably high FODMAP in one cup serves – this recipe contains 1/2 cup, divided amongst 16. Finally, balsamic vinegar is considered reasonably high FODMAP at 2 tablespoons – this recipe has 3 tablespoons, divided amongst 16. Just in case ur wondering.
I used both gluten free shortcrust pastry and gluten free puff pastry when testing this recipe. These are store bought options. Although I’d like to work on my own recipe for puff pastry, it would need to be started days in advance. I am a huge advocate for baking from scratch, but quite frankly, some things are made by experts for a reason.
There are recipes available online, or a number of gluten free pastry options at health food shops. Woolworths have a brand, and Careme is reputable as well. Although Careme don’t seem to have a gluten free puff pastry, they do have a spelt option. Spelt is FODMAP friendly, and low gluten, so good for non coeliacs or people who don’t need to eliminate gluten entirely. The rolls made with shortcrust pastry were nice, but didn’t have the shattering crunch of a puff pastry variety.
FOR THE SAUSAGE ROLLS (makes 16-20 small rolls):
- 200g firm tofu
- 1/2 cup plain cottage cheese
- 1 cup walnuts (100g)
- 1 egg (I use 700g eggs, always)
- 1 small-medium fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive but vegetable would also work)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2+ tablespoons water (use it as you see fit)
- 1 teaspoon oregano, tarragon, allspice and ground clove
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon miso paste (I used a sweet brown rice miso paste, but any gluten free one will work)
- 1 – 2 sheets gluten free puff pastry (read intro)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2+ tablespoons sesame seeds (I used a combination of black and white) to top the rolls
The oven temperature depends on the type of pastry you are using. If you are using gluten free puff pastry, it is recommended to put the rolls into the oven at 200 degrees. This gives the puff pastry a good push to puff up. After ten minutes, you can turn the temperature back down to 180, to continue cooking the rolls through. Have a read of the packet you’re using and see what they advise. If you’re using shortcrust pastry, keep the oven temperature at 180 degrees Celsius.
- Defrost the pastry, if you haven’t already. Once you have, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (see note)
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and add the fennel. Allow it to cook down for a few minutes. Once it has become translucent, add the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari and water, and continue to cook down until the fennel is completely soft and the liquid has become syrupy.
- Once it has cooked down thoroughly, add the spices, generous salt and pepper and the tomato paste. Add water at any time you deem it necessary – the mixture should resemble a thick syrup Once combined and cooked, remove from the heat.
- In your food processor, combine the tofu, cottage cheese, walnuts and eggs, and blitz until smooth-ish. Some lumps are fine. Once combined, add the cooled fennel mixture, miso paste and seasoning to taste. Continue to blitz until the mixture is uniform in a light-medium brown colour.
- Lay out the defrosted pastry on a floured counter. I used tapioca flour for mine. Decide on the size rolls you’d like, and cut the pastry accordingly. I wanted small rolls, so I cut the pastry sheet into three equal sized rectangles. Imagine slicing a horizontal A4 piece of paper into three.
- Use a spoon to evenly portion out the sausage mixture between the pastry rectangles. Create a long, reasonably thick line of sausage mixture to one side of the pastry in each case. Leave enough room that you can seal the rolls at the end. Roll the pastry over the sausage mixture. The edges of the pastry should be bench side down. Apply a bit of pressure to seal the pastry on the bottom of the sausage roll.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the logs into equal sized sausage rolls. Gently place them on a large lined baking tray.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the whisked egg lightly over each sausage roll. Sprinkle the sesame eggs on the wet egg, so they stick to the rolls.
- See the notes above on pastry before you start cooking the rolls. If you’re using puff, cook the rolls at 200 for the first 10 minutes, and then continue cooking for 15-20 minutes on 180. If you’re using shortcrust, keep the oven on 180 the entire time.
- Once the sausage rolls are browned and crispy, remove from the oven and serve.