The original of this was a Nigel Slater recipe (I’m not worthy!). Nigel often includes recipes in his Sunday column in the Observer which are either vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly, without getting too Look at me, catering to the hippies about it. This is an extremely flexible recipe which vegetarians and meatavarians seem to enjoy equally. The basic recipe is as follows:
One large potato, cubed.
One medium onion, chopped roughly.
Two medium courgettes, cubed.
Several slices of bread, breadcrumbed
Grated cheddar cheese, couple of generous handfuls
Pint of warm vegetable stock
Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and allow to fry gently for 10 minutes. Add the courgettes and continue to fry for a few minutes, then add a generous dash of mixed herbs and some salt. Mix, then add the stock, enough to cover around 2/3rds of the mixture. Pour into an oven-proof dish, and top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake at 180 for 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and well-cooked.
This freezes well, and put in a tupperware tub makes a good cold lunch as well (if you intend to do so, chill after cooking in the fridge, but do not freeze as it tends to make it unpleasantly soggy when defrosted and eaten cold). Also the variations are infinite, and it’s an excellent larder-clearer of on-the-turn vegetables and heels of bread. Vegan? still good with just breadcrumbs as topping. More protein? Add chopped ham or bacon (vegetarian or otherwise), or a handful of green lentils (red tend to go a little porridgy in this dish). Swap out half the potato for cubed sweet potato. Add to, or replace the courgettes with other vegetables – today’s fridge-clearing effort included some chopped red onion, carrot, mange-tout, sweet potato and mushrooms along with the courgette. Change the cheese – anything that melts well should be suitable.