Brie and potato cake

Mark Sargeant turns seductively creamy West Country cheese into a great vegetarian family meal
By Mark Sargeant
Brie and potato cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the potato cake

  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 400 g waxy potatoes, very finely sliced and dipped in melted butter
  • 150-200 g Somerset brie, sliced (leaving the rind on)
  • 1 thyme, sprig, leaves only

To serve

  • 1 butter lettuce
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp English mustard

Tips and Suggestions

If Somerset Brie is unavailable, you can use any white-rinded soft cheese.

Waxy potatoes such as Charlotte and Maris Peer are essential here because they will stay firm and keep their shape.

For a milder dressing, replace the English mustard with Dijon.

To make individual potato cakes for a special meal, use small new potatoes and cook them in blini pans.

Method

1. For the potato cake: preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. In a medium non-stick frying pan, melt a knob of butter then remove the pan from the heat.

2. Arrange half the potato slices in a spiral pattern in the bottom of the pan and season with a little salt and pepper. Tidily top the potatoes with the sliced brie. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, then cover with the remaining potato slices, again in a spiral pattern. Season again and spinkle over more thyme. Dot the top of the potatoes with some of the butter.

3. Put the pan over a medium-high heat and cook for a few minutes to colour the base of the potatoes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and golden.

4. To serve: remove the core and stem from the base of the lettuce. In a bowl big enough to contain the entire head of lettuce, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and some salt and pepper until well combined.

5. Grasp the base of the lettuce to keep the leaves together, then tip it upside down and dip into the bowl of dressing. Turn it back up quickly so that the dressing runs down inside the lettuce. Place the lettuce on a serving plate and allow the leaves to fan out.

6. Remove the potato cake from the oven, drain off any excess butter, then turn it out onto another serving plate. Cut it into wedges and serve alongside the lettuce.

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