Go to content

Janez Vajkard Valvasor writes: "The walnut is quite widespread in the Carniolan land. People dry it for food, but they also use it for a certain bread at Christmas, which they call potica."

A white plate on a brown and pink base. On the plate, there is a neatly arranged roast with lentils and walnuts, alongside Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes.

© Suzan Gabrijan

  • Čas:

    2:00 h

  • Number of portions:


  • Author:

The rolling and grinding of walnuts has long been a part of wintertime in Slovenia. More than just a nut, the walnut tree has become so well-integrated into Slovenian culture that it is associated with several beliefs. The ancient Slavs believed that the walnut tree was sacred, and that those born under a walnut tree would be blessed with happiness and wealth throughout their lives.

During the holiday season, many people face a dilemma: what kind of roast to put on the table for those who appreciate tradition but prefer plant-based proteins. Walnuts can be a great solution! A lentil and walnut roast offers the rich flavors of legumes and vegetables, while the walnuts add nutrition and crunch.


  • 200 g brown lentils
  • 150 g brown mushrooms
  • 150 g walnut kernels
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 grated apple
  • Handful of oat flakes
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs, if needed
  • Olive oil and tomato paste, for brushing


Cook the lentils and roughly chop them in a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for a few minutes to enhance their flavor.

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the roughly chopped mushrooms. Season with salt and fry until golden brown. Chop them coarsely on a cutting board and mix them with the lentil mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

In the same pan, add some more olive oil and fry the chopped onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Grate the carrots and finely chop the celery, then add them to the pan. Fry for a few minutes, then grate the apple and add it to the vegetables. Stir and fry until the fresh ingredients soften and release some liquid.

Mix the vegetable mixture with the lentil mixture. Add the toasted chopped walnuts, soaked flaxseeds, and oats. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme, and mix well. The goal is to obtain a thick and firm mixture, so add breadcrumbs if necessary.

Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the dish and press it evenly into a loaf shape. Bake in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 45 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. 5 minutes before the end of baking, brush the loaf with a mixture of olive oil and tomato paste.

Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, ideally with Brussels sprouts, vegetable puree, and tomato sauce.