Potato, bacon and greens cheesy bake

This hearty supper dish is perfect for using up the odds and ends in your fridge.  You can replace the greens with any variety of green cabbage and, if necessary, use cold cooked potatoes from the night before.  If using cold potatoes, it will take slightly longer in the oven. Vegetarians can omit the bacon. The recipe comes from my latest book  Simply Veg: A Modern Guide to Everyday Eating (see books page).

Serves 4

680g/1½ lb potatoes, peeled

650g/1lb 7oz spring greens, cleaned and roughly chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

185g/6½oz back bacon, diced

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

30g/1oz finely grated Parmesan + 3 tablespoons

salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g/9oz Taleggio, rind removed and diced


1  Preheat the oven to fan 200°C/gas 7 and lightly oil a 5cm/2in deep gratin dish. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2cm/¾in thick chunks. Place in a saucepan of cold unsalted water. Bring up to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Drain into a colander.


2  Clean the spring greens, so that you are left with their hearts.  Roughly slice the hearts. If using cabbage, cut off the outer leaves, wash and slice into chunks.


3  Set a non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat.  Add 3 tablespoons oil and, once hot, add the bacon and fry for 3 minutes, or until the bacon begins to colour. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and garlic.  Fry gently for 8 minutes, then add the caraway seeds and continue to fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft and golden. 


4  Increase the heat and stir in the greens (or cabbage) – you may need to add in two batches. Add a tiny bit of water, if necessary, to prevent them from catching. As soon as they’ve wilted, mix in the potatoes, followed by 30g/1oz Parmesan. Season to taste.


5  Spoon half the warm mixture into the bottom of the oiled dish.  Dot with half the diced Taleggio cheese.  Cover with the remaining potato mixture and strew the top with the remaining Taleggio.  Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake immediately in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are piping hot and the cheese is bubbling and flecked gold.


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