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This is everything I look for in a veggie snack: deep umami flavours (Cheddar, white wine),  heft (pearl barley, puff pastry) and heady top notes (thyme, mace, black onion/nigella seeds). And the porcini mushrooms, probably more than any other vegetable, give a pleasingly meaty texture. More often than not, I’ll double the recipe and freeze half for a later date.


MAKES 6 rolls


EQUIPMENT: 1 × 28cm non-stick frying pan


20g dried porcini mushrooms

200ml warm water

25g pearl barley

250ml vegetable stock

40g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing

2 shallots, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

400g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced

100ml dry white wine

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ heaped teaspoon ground mace

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg, beaten, plus an extra 2 eggs to glaze

375g sheet of ready-rolled or ready-to-roll all-butter puff pastry, defrosted if frozen

A little plain flour, for dusting, if needed

1 teaspoon black onion (nigella) seeds

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cover the dried porcini with the measured warm water ina bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. While the porcini is soaking, place the pearl barley in a saucepan, pour over the vegetable stock and cook according to the pack instructions.
  3. Once the porcini soaking time is up, strain the porcini through a sieve over the pearl barley pan to catch the soaking liquid. Continue cooking the pearl barley until it is soft but still retains a little bite. Meanwhile, finely chop the soaked porcini and set aside.
  4. Drain the cooked pearl barley and place in a mixing bowl.
  5. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan, add the shallots and cook over a low heat for 10–12 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Scrape the shallot mixture into the mixing bowl with the pearl barley and wipe out the pan with a piece of kitchen paper.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and melt the remaining butter. Add the chestnut mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon, until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden all over. Add the porcini and white wine to the pan and simmer until all the wine has been absorbed. Stir in the thyme, mace and cinnamon, and season well with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the mushroom mixture to the pearl barley mixture in the mixing bowl along with the Cheddar. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then mix in the beaten egg.
  8. Unroll the sheet of puff pastry, or if not ready-rolled, roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle measuring about 24 × 33cm. Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry lengthways in half to make 2 rectangles measuring about 12 × 33cm. Brush one of the pastry rectangles all over with extra beaten egg. Form half the mushroom mixture into a long sausage shape slightly off-centre down the length of the rectangle, leaving a 2cm border on one side and a 6cm border on the other side. Lift the pastry from the 6cm edge over the mushroom mixture to meet the 2cm edge and roll over with your fingers to form a seal. Slip the long roll onto a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, making sure the seal is underneath. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pastry rectangle and mushroom mixture.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.
  10. Remove the tray from the fridge and cut each roll into 3 equal lengths. Place on the greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the rolls with beaten egg to glaze and scatter over the black onion seeds. Bake for 20–25 minutes until deep golden all over. Leave to cool on a wire rack and eat warm or at room temperature.


This recipe is from Higgidy: The Veggie One by Camilla Stephens.


If you liked this recipe, you should try this spiced crudite platter from Bazaar by Sabrina Ghayour.