A steaming-hot baked potato makes perfect comfort food, and doesn't need lashings of butter and cheese to be delicious. This tasty vegetarian filling combines marinated mushrooms and courgettes, and there are 2 more satisfying fillings to choose from – tuna and sweetcorn, and roasted garlic and tomato.
*To make a tuna and sweetcorn filling, put 225 g (8 oz) frozen sweetcorn in a small saucepan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, then drain. Drain and flake 1 can tuna in water, about 200 g, and add to the sweetcorn. Stir in 2 tbsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp reduced-fat crème fraîche. Mix in 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives or finely chopped spring onions and 2 tbsp chopped parsley, then pile the mixture into the baked potatoes. *Roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes make a delicious filling. Trim the tough stalk off a whole bulb of garlic and wrap it in foil. Bake in the oven with the potatoes for 45 minutes. Cool the garlic slightly, then squeeze the pulp from each clove into a bowl. Add 1 large bunch of fresh basil, tough stalks discarded and leaves torn or shredded; 55 g (2 oz) stoned black olives, chopped; 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and seasoning to taste. Stir in 450 g (1 lb) cherry tomatoes, quartered. Preheat the grill to a moderate setting. Scoop some flesh out of the potatoes, leaving a thick layer in the shells, and break the flesh up coarsely with a fork. Stir into the tomato mixture, then spoon the filling back into the potato shells and sprinkle with 55 g (2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Brown under the grill and serve.
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, especially when cooked in their jackets as the vitamin is stored just beneath the skin. A freshly dug potato may contain as much as ten times more vitamin C than one that has been stored.
C, B1, B6, folate, potassium, A, E, niacin, copper, iron