- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium or 3 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head of kale - tough stems removed, leaves cut into 1cm strips
- 300g slightly stale, robust bread – sourdough works well – cut into 2cm cubes
- 175g grated gruyère or other well-flavoured hard cheese
- 500ml hot vegetable stock
Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions and stir well to break up the rings. Once they are sizzling, turn the heat down to very low and cover the pan. Cook them gently, stirring from time to time, for about half an hour, or until very soft and golden. Add the chopped garlic and some salt and pepper about halfway through the cooking.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, put the cabbage into a steamer and cook for about four minutes, until tender but not too soft. You can also cook it in boiling water, but make sure you drain it really well – you don't want to add cabbagey water to the dish.
Put the cubed bread into a large bowl. Add the remaining oil and some salt and pepper, and toss well so the bread cubes are coated with oil and seasoning.
Choose a large, wide, shallow oven dish about 20cm x 30cm. Spread one-third of the cooked onions over the base, then scatter over one-third of the bread cubes followed by one-third of the cheese. Scatter over half the cabbage. Repeat these layers, then finish with the final onions, bread and cheese.
Make sure your stock is piping hot, then pour it all over the dish, allowing it to soak in to the bread. Cover with foil, bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more, until golden brown and bubbling. Remove the panade from the oven, let it settle for 10-15 minutes, then bring to the table and serve.