Christmas stuffings are a great and easy side-dish for your family lunches and dinners. This one is a plant-based take on the traditional favourite, using shiitake mushrooms and fennel to give it that delicious meaty flavour.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Slice squash into quarters and then half each piece so that you have 8 large chunks. Quarter the onions and add all to a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil and add your spices, 2 tsp fennel seeds, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss well and place in the oven for approx 40 minutes or until soft. In the meantime add shiitake mushrooms to a bowl and cover with boiling water to soften for 10 minutes. Chop up the walnuts, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit and add to a pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and toast gently until nuts are golden. Add to a large bowl. Drain mushrooms and add to food processor. Blend on high speed for a few seconds until you have a mince. Cut toasted bread with hands and add to food processor with your mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil, 1 tsp fennel seeds, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Then blend everything on high speed until you have a fluffy crumb-like consistency. Add to the bowl and mix with your toasted nuts. Remove your roasted squash from the oven and smash with a wooden spoon. Combine everything together and mix well. Line a roasting dish with greaseproof paper and add your stuffing mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and then cover with another piece of greaseproof paper. Using some string tie either end of the dish to keep the paper on top steady. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the paper on the top to get a crispy surface and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Use the paper to remove from the dish and slice.