Aubergine, Chestnut & Stilton Wellington

This is a rather special vegetarian dish for Christmas. Some elements can be made in advance, even the day before, helping to reduce the work on Christmas Day itself. I am suggesting a Scandinavian pastry that is easier to work with than rough puff but if you prefer to use shop-bought, all-butter puff pastry that would work well too. You will need 2 x 320g ready rolled sheets, or 1 x 600g block cut in half.

8 generous servings.

Ingredients List


  • 250g softened, unsalted butter
  • 250g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g quark cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • 2 large courgettes
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 400g fresh spinach , ready washed
  • Small bunch of parsley – English or flat leaf, chopped
  • 6 sprigs of thyme – stripped
  • 8 sage leaves – chopped
  • 200g whole cooked chestnuts, (vacuum –packed chestnuts are now readily available)
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 200g stilton (use feta if you don’t like stilton)
  • 150g parmesan – coarsely grated
  • 250g ricotta
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Pepper and a little salt
  • Sunflower oil + butter for frying, plus extra to grease baking tray



In a large bowl put soft butter and quark and mix well with a hand held mixer for 2 minutes, or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together well. Transfer to butter/quark mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine to a dough.

Transfer to lightly floured surface and give it 5-6 kneads until smooth – do not over-knead. Cut in half, cover each half with Clingfilm and refrigerate for 45 – 60 minutes.


Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. *Cut up the courgettes into small dice. Put in bowl and set aside. Next cut the aubergines into 2cm/1/2” dice. Put in bowl and set aside.

  • Slice the spring onions finely and put in small bowl.
  • Wilt the spinach in a saucepan, drain in sieve fully pressing out all liquid with a wooden spoon. Roughly chop and set aside.
  • Cut up chestnuts into quarters and set aside in a bowl.
  • Chop parsley and sage leaves fairly finely. Mix in the stripped thyme and set aside.
  • Grate the parmesan on the coarse part of the grater and set aside
  • Crumble the stilton (or feta) and set aside

all items asterisked can be prepared the day before and kept covered in Clingfilm in the fridge. (Not the aubergine as it will oxidise). The pastry can be made several days in advance and kept refrigerated.

  • Fry the courgette in 1tbs hot oil and a small knob of butter for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Fry the aubergine in 2tbs hot oil and a small knob of butter for 3 minutes. Lay on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil before adding to the courgette. Add to the courgette. In a small frying pan, fry the pine nuts in 2tsp of oil and a small knob of butter. Give nuts a 30 second start and then add in the sliced spring onions. Cook until soft and nuts are a light brown. Add these to aubergine/courgette mix. Add in the chopped cooked spinach, plus the mixed herbs, the quartered  chestnuts, and the grated parmesan. Mix thoroughly but gently as you don’t want to break the vegetables down.
  • Whisk the 2 egg yolks and ricotta together until combined. Add to vegetable mix and seasoning with salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the stilton or feta will add more salt.
  • The filling mixture is now ready. (The courgette and aubergine will be al dente but will continue to cook during the baking period, and it is important to have some texture to chew on rather than a vegetable mash!)

Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a 30cm x 40cm/12” x 16” baking tray.

Assembly and Cooking

  • Roll out half of the pastry to a rectangle of 20cm x 36cm/8” x 14” and to a £1 coin thickness. Transfer to greased prepared baking tray. Spoon and heap the mixture onto pastry rectangle but leave clear a 1 inch/2.5cm border all the way round. Spread the crumbled feta over the top of filling. Brush the clear border with egg wash that will form seal.
  • Now roll the other half of the pastry to a slightly larger rectangle than the previous one – say 22cm x 38cm – as it has to cover the mounded filling. Cover the filling and press both halves together. Trim and neaten edges leaving ¾” border. Scallop the border with the back of a knife. Brush the wellington all over with egg wash.
  • Using a small circular cutter, cut 2 holes in top of pastry to allow steam to escape. Cut out shapes from the pastry trimmings to form a pattern. Finally, brush these cut-outs with egg wash. (See photo as a guide).
  • Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 35 – 45 minutes. When cooked, leave rest for 10 minutes and transfer carefully to serving tray using 2 large palette knives or spatulas to support it.

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11 Responses to “Aubergine, Chestnut & Stilton Wellington”

  1. December 21, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    This looks great, I am going to make for family visiting on Sunday and I bet it won’t just be the ‘veggie’ who eats it!!!

  2. Christine Ritter
    December 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Sounds lovely and would go down well with my family. We are not vegetarians but enjoy meat free food. However, if anybody makes this for veggie friends please be aware that parmesan is made using rennet and is therefore not vegetarian!

    • brendan
      February 24, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks Christine – good point. I believe that there are vegetarian parmesan-like cheeses now available quite widely.

  3. Robin
    December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    I’m making this for a New Year’s Eve dinner party tonight.
    Looking good so far. Thanks Brendan x

    • brendan
      January 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      You’re welcome. Hope it was a success, but whatever the outcome you can be assured that it is far better than anything you could buy and you have created it.
      Have a great New Year. Brendan

  4. Laura Suths
    February 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I think I might make this for a dinner party of 7 this weekend. What would you recommend as the best side dishes to go with?

    • brendan
      February 24, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Some crispy roast patatoes (e.g. hasselback), maybe some carrots cooked with plenty of cumin and / or strips of red pepper cooked in a little oil and butter. Enjoy!

  5. Laura Suths
    February 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    ps Can I make the whole thing in the morning and serve in the evening or will that give me the dreaded soggy bottom?

    • brendan
      February 24, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Should be fine Laura. I often make it in the morning and then bake it when needed later in the day.

  6. Laura Suths
    April 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Didn’t see these in time for the last one but just made it again for vegetarian friends at dinner party and it was even better than the last one. So tasty. Thank you. Cumin carrots and roast pots a great choice. All worked brilliantly! x

    • brendan
      April 9, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Good news and thanks for letting me know. It is a great main course for many occasions. Best wishes Brendan

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