These vegetarian baked potatoes hit that magic spot somewhere between decadent and worthy.
They make a great simple and inexpensive midweek dinner and can be easily adapted to your kitchen contents: use chard or spinach if you have this in your veg box instead of kale, or use a smoky cheese such as Gruyère in place of cheddar.
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 1hr 50 mins | Total time: 2 hrs | Serves 4
- 4 baking potatoes (250–300g each)
- Olive oil
- 2 good handfuls (about 50g) curly kale leaves, stripped from their stems
- 150g mature cheddar, grated
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200?C/Gas 6. Put the potatoes in a baking dish and prick a few times with a sharp knife. Rub the potatoes with a little olive oil and sprinkle over some sea salt, to help the skin crisp up.
- Bake for about 1½ hours, more or less, depending on the size of your potatoes, until the insides are tender (insert a sharp knife) and the outsides nice and crispy.
- While the potatoes are cooking, boil the kale for 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in a bowl of ice cold water, drain again, then pick the leaves away from the stems (discard the stems) and chop the leaves. Keep to one side.
- When cooked, remove the potatoes from the oven. Leave until just cool enough to handle, then slice off the tops (serve with the potato, or they could be a chef’s perk!).
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out most of the insides, being careful not to break the skin. Mash in a bowl, adding ¾ of the cheese and the chopped kale.
- Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
- Replace the kale with chard, spinach, mashed broccoli, sliced leeks, shredded cabbage or Brussels sprouts.
- Mash a dash of soured cream or crème fraîche or a scoop of cream cheese in with the filling.
- Try a goat’s cheese or a blue cheese instead of the Cheddar.
- Swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes; they don’t take as long to cook – about 40 minutes for small ones and up to an hour or more for really large ones.