This is one of my oldest formalised recipes – it’s surprisingly good, and even people who don’t like spinach, mushrooms, courgettes or butter beans seem to love it. Strange but true…

The Recipe

This recipe would be good with all manner of vegetables; the ones I originally chose were what we had lying around in the fridge! Try varying the amount of garlic – we actually started out with 5 cloves, and it was wonderful, but old age has moderated my tastes. Leave the cheese out, and it’s vegan.


1 onion or 7 shallots, chopped

8 mushrooms, sliced

250g fresh leaf spinach

2 courgettes, sliced

1 can butter beans

1 tbsp olive oil

1 stock cube

A good splash of soy sauce

A small splash of passata

Black pepper, freshly ground

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 slice bread, crumbed

300g mozzarella cheese, grated


Fry all ingredients in sequence, except the cheese and breadcrumbs. Aim for a very dry mixture. Place in an oven-proof dish in alternate layers with the mozzarella. Cover the top layer of cheese with breadcrumbs, cover the dish, and bake at gas mark 4 for 30-35 minutes. Finally, uncover and bake again for ten more minutes to crisp the topping.

Serves 2-4.