The humble potato is one of the most versatile vegetables available! Chipped, mashed, boiled or as a crispy topping for an oven-baked dish such as this one. It’s a 100% natural, fat-free and frugal food item which is readily available all year round. It’s no wonder it has played such a big role at meals times over the decades. One of my favourite ways to use potatoes is to slice them thinly and create a scalloped topping for a stew or a bake. So many scalloped layers leads to lots of crispy outer edges meaning you get that lovely crunch with every bite! It makes for an attractive looking dish too, perfect for a one-pot, oven to table, Sunday lunch idea.
I cut the potato into thin scallops using my food processor which does the job in seconds. If you do not have a food processor which does this, use a mandolin or very sharp knife, but please watch your fingers! The thicker your potato slices, the longer it will take to cook so if you need to cut them with a knife and fine they are thicker than a few millimetres, they will benefit from being blanched in a pan of bubbling, hot water for a few minutes to give them a head start before adding them to the oven.
Enjoy! Joanne 🙂
Potato Scallop Topped Black Bean, Date & Red Pepper Bake
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 med brown onion
- 1 med sweet potato peeled and cubed into small pieces
- 2 sweet red peppers sub for 1 reg bell pepper, washed, deseeded and chopped small
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red chilli seeds removed, chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp tomato paste concentrate
- 50 g medjool dates
- 2 tins black beans rinsed, drained
- 350 mls vegetable stock hot
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ground black pepper & sea salt to taste
- 2-3 large white baking potatoes
For this recipe I used a 3L cast iron baking dish with a lid which can go on the stove top and in the oven. This means you can create the whole dish using just this one dish.
Place the oil, chopped onion, cubed sweet potatoes and sweet peppers into the dish, stir together and heat on low, with the lid securely placed on top, for around 15 mins. Check every 5 mins, stir and add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
After 15 mins, add the minced garlic, red chilli, ground cumin, ground sweet smoked paprika, ground coriander, tomato paste and dates to the dish, stir to mix well.
Next, add the black beans, ht vegetable stock, red wine vinegar and season to taste. If you would like the dish to be more spicy, you could add a little chilli powder at this stage too (optional).
Replace the lid and leave on a low heat to simmer while you prepare the potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Cut the potatoes into scallops a few mm thick by using a food porcessor which has a slicing option, or use a mandoline or sharp knife - please watch your hands! If using a knife, it's very hard to get the slices thin so please prepare the potatoes by blanching them in a pan of hot bubbling water for a few minutes after slicing as this will soften them and result in a faster cooking time in the oven. Just run them under cold water in a sieve to cool them down for ease of arranging them in the next step.
Next, arrange the scallops, starting from the outer edge and working your way around the dish and towards the centre. Use the image as an example. Or create your own design 😉
Once all of the filling has been covered with the potaoes, brush the whole surface with a little oil to encourage them to crisp while cooking.
Place the dish into the oven and bake for at 30-40mins at 180 degrees C. The time difference completely depends upon the thickness of the potato slices. The thicker the potatoes, the longer cooking time they will require. If the potatoes are cooked but not crisp, you can always finish it off under the grill for a few minutes, if you oven proof dish allows for that - some glass oven dishes state that they are not to be placed under direct heat such as a grill so refer to the manufacturers instructions if unsure!
Serve with some steamed greens or green leaves.