Potato and leek cakes, flavoured with tasty cheese and fresh herbs, make a satisfying vegetarian meal served with baked tomatoes and accompanied by a simple leaf salad. Use floury potatoes, such as King Edward, sebago or spunta.
1 kg floury potatoes, scrubbed
1 large leek, sliced
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
2/3 cup 25% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, grated
5 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
plain flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
4 large tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons ready made garlic-flavoured olive oil for brushing (or, to make your own, add 1 crushed garlic clove to 2 tablespoons olive oil)
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Cut the large potatoes into halves or quarters. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Bring back to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Add the leek to the pan for the last 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables, then spread them out on a tray and leave them to cool. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
When the potatoes are cool, peel and place in a bowl with the leek, and mash. Add the milk, mustard, cheese, parsley and thyme, and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Shape each into a ball, then press on a floured surface into a flat cake about 10 cm across and 3 cm thick.
Set the cakes on a clean tray. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle over half the breadcrumbs. Turn the cakes and coat the other side with egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer them to a nonstick baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, cut- side up. Brush them with the garlic oil and sprinkle over any remaining breadcrumbs.
Turn the potato cakes over carefully with a fish slice. Place the tomatoes in the oven with the potato cakes and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.
Potato cakes are often fried in oil or butter. Here they are oven-baked to produce cakes that are equally tasty but with a lower fat content.