I love baked gratin dishes. I love the crispy crust that breaks when you indulge with the fork or spoon. I know for many of you this will immediately bring the movie “Amélie” to mind and will think of it as a cliché, but if you deny the pleasure of a crispy crust breaking then you’re just one of the few.
Also, I love bringing to the table a beautiful hot casserole. It reminds me of the big family feasts for Christmas or Easter. I can easily say that casseroles and gratins are my personal translation of Comfort Food. Whatever is inside of the baking pan: lasagne, vegetables covered in béchamel and cheese, fish or meat pies, rice or pasta timbales and so on. I love them all!
This rice with Savoy cabbage, bacon and mozzarella has a crispy crust of breadcrumbs and not to mention the cheesiness of the melted mozzarella inside. The great combination of the flavor of the savoy cabbage with the smokiness of the bacon is a win-win and all together is just a symphony of flavors. I haven’t convinced you yet?
What is Savoy Cabbage?
Savoy cabbage can be easily recognized for its crinkly emerald green leaves and is rich in fiber and vitamins. It pairs well with apples, salmon, meat and some cheeses like Parmigiano and mozzarella. It’s really versatile like most of the brassicas. Plus, a fresh whole cabbage will last in your fridge up to 6 weeks.
It’s thought to be originally from UK and the Netherlands, but it’s name comes from the Savoy region in France.
Differently from other cabbages, Savoy cabbage does not turn into mush when cooked. It has a firm texture which makes it ideal for timbales and roll-ups.
Check out this guide for more information on the different cabbages.
Baked rice with Savoy cabbage
- 170 g (6 oz.) Risotto Rice
- 1 large Potato
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 150 g (5 oz.) Smoked Bacon cubes
- 1/2 medium Savoy cabbage
- 1 large Mozzarella
- 3 tbsp Parmigiano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 glass White Wine
- Vegetable or Delicate Stock
- Peel the potato and chop it into small cubes, then boil in slightly salted water for about 5 minutes.
- Finely chop the onion and add it in a large pan drizzled with olive oil. Fry it at high heat for 1 minute then add the rice and the shredded Savoy cabbage (remove the thick white center from the leaves). Once the rice is toasted (about 2 minutes) pour the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the rice with the stock and add more stock when it’s completely absorbed. Halfway through the cooking, add the diced potatoes.
- When the rice is almost done, remove it from the heat and add a knob of butter and the Parmigiano cheese. Mix well and set aside.
- In a small pan quickly brown the bacon at high heat (it should not be too crispy though), then add it to the rice and mix. Add also the roughly chopped mozzarella.
- Transfer the rice into a baking pan or individual cocottes and cover with enough breadcrumbs. Add small curls of butter on top.
- Bake at 200°C (440°F) for about 10-15 minutes or until golden on top. Serve immediately.