In the interests of upping my intake of dark leafy greens I re-visited a dish I used to make all the time in New Zealand. Basically it is greens and a cheese sauce with a potato top. It is total comfort food for me - like a vegetarian shepherds pie - my Mum used to make when I was a child.
Silverbeet is a type of chard from New Zealand. Everyone I knew grew it in their garden, it was nearly as indestructible as mint. Cheap and nutritious. I actually made this dish with kale and spinach instead of chard today and it turned out as good as I remembered it.
Dark leafy greens like Kale and Spinach, are full of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K and are good plant sources of calcium.
- Silverbeet or other dark leafy greens
Set oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Scrub and chop potatoes into even sized chunks. Boil until cooked and mash with just enough milk to make up a dryish mash.
Wash and chop greens and pile into your pie dish. You want enough to completely fill the dish while the greens are raw.
Finely chop the onion and saute in a knob of melted butter over a medium heat. When the onion is soft, add a small spoonful of flour to soak up the butter and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Basically you're making a roux and want to cook off the taste of raw flour. Once you've done this add a little milk and mix in, keep adding milk until you have a creamy sauce without lumps. Remove from the heat and stir in about half a cup of grated cheese.
Pour the hot cheese sauce over the greens and mix. The greens will wilt a bit. Squash them down into the pie dish and top with the mashed potato. Sprinkle over a little more grated cheese and bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned and the sauce is bubbling up the sides.
Mum always used to sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast which makes for a cheesier tasting, crunchier top.