If you want a sneaky way to get the kids to eat their greens, here’s a good one. Heart-warming and rich, it’s ideal from warming everyone up on a cold day. Adding optional cheese will also help.
- 8 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 large onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small green cabbage (about 1½ pounds / 650g)
- 11 ounces bread on the stale side
- 10 fluid ounces / 300ml hot vegetable stock
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely slice the onions.
Chop the garlic cloves.
Core the cabbage, removing any tough stems, and shred the leaves into strips about ½ and inch or 1cm wide.
Shop the bread into cubes about ¾ of an inch / 2cm thick.
Heat half the olive oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan.
Stir in the onions and when they are sizzling put the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Cook gently for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent them from burning.
About half way through, add the garlic and some salt and pepper.
Remove the lid fore the last ten minutes.
While the onions are cooking, pre-heat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.
Then, put the cabbage in a steamer or a pan of boiling water for about four minutes until it is tender but not soft. Drain well.
Put the chopped bread into a bowl, add the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper, and toss together so the bread is well coated.
In a shallow oven dish such as a circular one 10 inches / 25cm in diameter, spread a third of the onions to cover the base.
Over this, scatter a third of the bread cubes.
Over the bread cubes, spoon half the cabbage.
Repeat this with a layer of onions, bread cubes, and cabbage.
Finally, another layer of onions and then the bread cubes.
Make sure your stock is hot, and pour over the layers in the dish. Give it time to soak into the bread.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for one hour, removing the foil half way through. At the end of the hour it should be golden brown and bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow it to settle for about ten minutes before serving.
You can make this a touch more exotic if you wish by adding grated cheese, such as a mature Cheddar or Gruyère. Grate around 6 ounces / 175g and sprinkle one third over each of the three layers of bread cubes as you build the dish.
A panade is basically a good way of using up leftovers, like the old trusty bubble-and-squeak, and can accommodate almost anything. This rustic cabbage panade was inspired by legendary Judy Rogers (1956 – 2-13) of the Zuni café in Dan Francisco where she became chef in 1987. Her recipe, published in her Zuni Café Cookbook, used Swiss chard.