After an early and cold morning beside a hockey pitch I was seeking comfort food this morning whilst simultaneously trying to avoid the temptation to tear into hot slices of well buttered sourdough toast. So I decide to make bubble and squeak. Widely recognised as a traditional British dish, it’s an understated, thrifty affair that is often thrown together on a Monday using the leftovers from a Sunday roast.
The key ingredients are potatoes and greens, which can comprise brussels sprouts, cabbage, or indeed anything that can be saved and reused. It was Sunday morning and we hadn’t had a Saturday roast, but sat in the fridge was a bowl of swede and carrot mash and cavolo nero from last night’s Balmoral Chicken.
I started by chopping and gently frying an onion. Once soft, I tipped in the cold mash and kale, mixed everything up and grated over a little parmesan cheese. After a quick season I pressed it all down and left for a few minutes to brown. I used a plate to turn it over and slip back into the pan to brown the top.
With leftover gravy from last Sunday’s roast lamb defrosted, heated and drizzled over half the bubble and squeak it made for a truly satisfying brunch.
Not only did it deliver on comfort, its nutritional credentials were strong too. While my go to cooking fat of choice is olive oil, I decided to add some additional flavour to the dish by frying with duck fat. Duck fat does contain some saturated fat, so it’s best used in moderation, but like olive oil it contains healthy monosaturated fat and oleic acid (reported to reduce inflammation and also possibly impact genes linked to cancer).
From the brassica family, cavolo nero delivers up vitamin C fortifying the immune system and vitamin K to support bone strength. Like the duck fat, it too, contains natural compounds with reported anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. And lastly, the onions with their vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium helped ensure it was a truly nutrient dense dish.
And it certainly did the trick when it came to thawing out and revitalising a cold and tired hockey Mum.