As the weather gets cooler in lots of the world a nice hearty but healthy dish is so much more tantalizing. If you are a big fan of rustic sourdough breads then this is a perfect dish that captures all of the joyous flavors along with some healthy vegetables. I first discovered this recipe in this Guardian article but I’ve since made a few tweaks to it. My go to bread for this is either the Yohan Ferrant Do Nothing Bread or some Tartine bread.
- 2 tablespoons (26 grams) of olive oil
- 1-2 large onions (12-24 ounces)(350-700 grams) finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- 20-25 ounces (600-700 grams) of cabbage, kale, chard, etc (about half a head of cabbage) cut into 1 cm strips
- 16 ounces (450 grams) of stale robust bread (sourdough, baguette, etc) cut into 1 inch/2 cm cubes (half a boule or one and a half baguette)
- 8 ounces (225 grams) of gruyère or strong flavored cheese shredded or grated
- 2 cups (500 mL) hot vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Prepare for cooking by finely slicing the onion, cubing the bread, and chopping the cabbage/greens
- If cheese is not pre-shredded/pre-grated then perform shred/grate
- Prepare a steamer by filling partially with water and prepheating
- Next heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, mix around, and add a little salt and pepper. Once they start sizzling (a few minutes) turn the heat down to medium-low and continue slower cooking until brown (10 minutes). Add garlic half way through.*
- Steam the cabbage while the onions are cooking. Should take 2-4 minutes to reach proper consistency. Take the cabbage out and put in a side bowl.
- Choose a wide shallow oven dish, about 8x12 inches (20x30 cm), or oven safe pan. If this is a not a non-stick surface then spray with cooking spray or lightly butter the sides to avoid stick of cheese
- Begin layering of the dish (note you are seasoning each layer so salt/pepper lightly accordingly)
- Layer 1: 1/3 of the cooked onions spread uniformly around the base
- Layer 2: 1/3 of the bread cubes spread uniformily around. Lightly salt and pepper this layer once the bread is down.
- Layer 3: 1/3 of the cheese
- Layer 4: half of the cabbage spread uniformily to create a layer. Lightly salt and pepper this layer once down.
- Layer 5: again 1/3 of the cooked onions spread uniformily on top of the cabbage layer
- Layer 6: again 1/3 of the bread cubes again spread uniformly, and again lightly salt and peppered
- Layer 7: again 1/3 of the cheese
- Layer 8: is the remaining cabbage spread uniformily and then lightly salt and peppered.
- Layer 9: remaining 1/3 of the cooked onions
- Layer 10: remaining 1/3 of the bread crumbs again spread uniformly, and again lightly salt and peppered
- Layer 11: remaining cheese
- Heat up the stock to a near boil and then slowly pour over the top.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes remove the foil and bake for 20-30 minutes more, until cheese is browned and there is a nice crust on the bread
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving
When it is done it should look something like above. For me this makes four servings, but as part of a meal or for lighter eaters it is probably more like 6 or 8. The nutritional information for four servings assuming the lower end of the ingredient weights above and using french bread is: 709 calories, 83 grams carbs, 28 grams fat, and 34 grams of protein:
*Optional: If you want truly caramelized onions then rather than going to medium-low, turn the temperature down to low and cover. Stir the onions periodically over half an hour or so until it reaches proper consistency