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Bubble and Squeak

A classic dish for using up leftover veg that would otherwise go to waste, this bubble and squeak is perfect for an easy brunch or hearty breakfast.

From the book


If you wake up mildly regretful, anxious and in need of stabilizing after a night where your eyes were bigger than your liver; if you reach midday and the myth of porridge keeping you sustained has made itself apparent for the nth time; if a van drove through a puddle, soaking you and your new coat as you waited at the bus stop – this is for you. The work of minutes if you have leftovers, and not much longer from scratch. A proper friend in need. A side of baked beans, broccoli, or just as it is, will bring pleasure.

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800 (1lb 12oz) potatoes, peeled and diced
50g (2oz) butter
2 bunches spring onions scallions), trimmed and cut into 3cm (1¼ in) lengths
100g (3½ oz) kale or chard, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300g (10oz) mushrooms, thinly sliced or pulled into thin strips
4 eggs
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 10–15 minutes until just tender. Drain.

Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the spring onions until softened. Add the kale to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until wilted, then add the boiled potatoes and gently mash them together with the kale and onions. Allow the mixture to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the edges become crisp and golden. Season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or similar to press the mixture to form a flat cake. Cook for a few more minutes. Using a plate, carefully flip the bubble and squeak over onto the plate, then slide back into the pan with the remaining butter and cook the other side until it’s also golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan in a single layer, rather than crowd the pan (fry them in batches if needed), gently tossing now and again until they are golden. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, then spoon on top of the bubble and squeak.

In a separate frying pan (to avoid the eggs sticking), heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry to your liking.

To serve, divide the bubble and squeak and mushrooms into four and top each with an egg, seasoning with salt and pepper. I have to admit to a weakness for a dash of hot sauce here; my daughter favours ketchup; my wife looks on in disgust.

VEGAN: I think this fries to golden a little better in butter, but if that’s outside your diet, use olive oil and it’ll be grand.

GF: Yes.

SEASONAL SWAPS: The mushrooms are optional, but if you either have them or think ahead to get them, chanterelles or oyster mushrooms are particularly good here. The only thing that should remain constant is the proportions of carb to greenery; this can bend to whatever you have. Potatoes, sweet potato, celeriac and (in combination with potato) swede, carrots and parsnip are excellent carbs to employ, with fried onions, green beans, peas, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts and pea shoots among the very many options for the leafiness.

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