Nigel Slater's Bubble And Swede
My mouth waters every time I come across this recipe in my ‘folder of recipes’. It‘s one of those very simple recipes, just swede, leeks and seasoning but it tastes bloody delicious. Sometimes, one requires a simple meal without all the fuss of herbs and spices and fancy ingredients. A few traditional ingredients cuts it at times.
Reading this recipe, however, you wouldn’t expect it to reap the fabulous flavour that it does. I, for one, am used to making dishes that have spices and superfoods, so when you see swede and leeks with a bit of salt and pepper (not forgetting butter - oh that’s where the flavour comes from!) you don’t expect a great tasting meal. On its own this is fabulous but I always like to add a few sides of vegetables. You could add fish or chicken if you wanted some meat.
Peel 750g of swede then cut it into large chunks. Place the swede in a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water, then cook it for about 30 minutes until soft. (Steaming is better than boiling as boiling can make the swede too wet which isn’t good for mash).
Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.
Meanwhile, trim 2 medium-sized leeks, slice them and rinse thoroughly in cold running water. Melt 60g of butter in a pan, add the leeks and let them cook for 20 minutes or so until they are totally tender.
When the swede is soft, crush it with a fork, vegetable masher or wooden spoon, and season generously with salt and black pepper.
Fold the cooked leeks and the butter they have been cooked in into the mashed swede, then spoon them into an ovenproof dish. Bake the leeks for about 35-40 minutes, until the top is lightly crisp.
I usually serve mine with a few roasted brussel sprouts and some asparagus.