Cheese and onion rarebit

    23 min

    There are many versions of Welsh rarebit (or rabbit). The one here is richly flavoured with mature Cheddar cheese and thickened with breadcrumbs to add texture, and is spooned over thinly sliced red onions before being grilled until golden and bubbling. A spinach, apple and celery salad is the perfect partner.

    7 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 90 ml (3 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • ½ tsp mustard powder
    • 125 g (4½ oz) well-flavoured mature Cheddar cheese, grated
    • 40 g (1¼ oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
    • 4 thick slices wholemeal bread, about 45 g (1½ oz) each
    • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
    • Baby spinach, apple and celery salad
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil
    • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp poppy seeds
    • 200 g (7 oz) baby spinach leaves
    • 2 red-skinned dessert apples, quartered, cored and sliced
    • 2 celery sticks, sliced
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:3min  ›  Ready in:23min 

    1. Preheat the grill to high. Put the milk, mustard powder and cheese in a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Cool for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a spreading consistency.
    2. Meanwhile, arrange the slices of bread on a baking tray and toast on both sides under the grill.
    3. While the bread is toasting, make the salad. Put the sunflower oil, walnut or hazelnut oil, red wine vinegar and poppy seeds in a salad bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk to mix. Add the spinach, apples and celery, but do not toss.
    4. Top the toast with the slices of red onion, then spoon over the cheese mixture, spreading it out to cover the toast completely. Return to the grill and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the cheese mixture is golden brown and bubbling. Toss the salad and serve with the rarebits.

    Each serving provides

    A, E, calcium, folate, niacin, selenium, zinc, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, copper, iron, potassium

    Some more ideas

    *For cheese and tomato rarebit, instead of the red onion use 4 firm but ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the cheese mixture instead of the mustard.
    *Make Gorgonzola and pear rarebit. Replace the Cheddar with 55 g (2 oz) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and use 2 tsp wholegrain mustard instead of the mustard powder. Thinly slice 1 large, firm but ripe dessert pear and arrange on top of the toast in place of the red onion. Serve the rarebits with a crunchy side salad, made by whisking together 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 tbsp orange juice and salt and pepper to taste, and tossing in 1 large bunch of watercress, 85 g (3 oz) bean sprouts and 85 g (3 oz) halved red or yellow cherry tomatoes.

    Plus points

    *Cheddar cheese is a particularly good source of calcium, a mineral vital for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Because Cheddar is high in saturated fat, it's a good idea to choose one that is mature and well flavoured – even a moderate amount will have a big taste impact.
    *Spinach, like other dark green, leafy vegetables, is a good source of many important phytochemicals that are thought to help protect the body against several forms of cancer.

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