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15 MIN READ TIME

HUGH’S CROWD-PLEASER

PHOTOGRAPHS, FOOD STYLING AND STYLING: SIMON WHEELER

Creamy smoky fsh and spinach gratin

SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 25 MIN

“This is one of the most gratifying comfort foods. Add a green salad and you have a wonderful dinner.”

FOOD TEAM’S TIP Grate the cheese coarsely to give the topping texture.

PER SERVING 612kcals, 25.5g fat (8.5g saturated), 36.7g protein, 55.4g carbs (8.3g sugars), 0.3g salt, 7.3g fibre From Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage: Love Your Leftovers(£20; Bloomsbury), out 8 October

HUGH’S TIPS AND SWAPS FOR NEXT TIME

• VEGGIE VERSION You can add other veg, as well as or instead of the spinach, such as halved cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onions, leftover roast roots and cooked peas.

• JANSSON’S TEMPTATION VERSION Sauté the onions in the oil from a small tin of anchovies until softened, then add sliced cooked potatoes (not mash) and stir in the chopped anchovies from the tin, plus your flaked smoked fish leftovers. Season with pepper. Tip into the prepared gratin dish, trickle with a few tablespoons of cream or crème fraîche, then bake as for the gratin, for about 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden on top. Irresistible.

• 1 tsp rapeseed or sunflower oil, plus extra to oil the dish

• 1 small red onion, diced

• Fresh thyme sprig (optional)

• ½ glass white wine (optional)

• 200g spinach or chard leaves, roughly chopped

• 500g cooked potatoes, mashed (or in crumbled pieces if roasted or boiled) – leftovers are ideal

• 150ml cream or crème fraîche

• A few nutmeg gratings

• 200-300g hot-smoked fish, such as mackerel, kippers, haddock or pollock (the food team used smoked mackerel), broken into large flakes – leftovers are ideal

• 40g fresh breadcrumbs – those from an old loaf are ideal

• 40g cheddar, parmesan or emmental, grated

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish (about 23cm diameter). Heat the oil in a medium-large, heavy-based saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion, thyme (if using) and a good pinch of salt. Fry gently until the onion is soft (about 15 minutes).

2. Pour in the wine (or half a glass of water) and bring to a simmer. Add the spinach or chard, put on the lid and cook for a minute or two until the greens are just wilted.

3. Remove from the heat and add the potatoes and cream or crème fraîche. Stir to combine and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gently fold through the fish, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Tip the mixture into the oven dish, sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese over the top and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Leave to stand for several minutes to cool slightly before serving with a crisp green salad.

"Some of my most satisfying meals have been created from almost nothing. A few dried-up odds and ends of cheese, a bit of leftover meat, a dab of cream in dignifed old age, the remains of an excellent loaf, seasonings from the back of the cupboard… Flinging in this or that with the joyful abandon that comes from not expecting too much – it’s how I cook at home, and it’s as effcient as it is favoursome". HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL

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delicious. Magazine
October 2015
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