Michelle's Green bean, chard and anchovy cake

Corn free, milk free, gluten free, lactose free, nut free peanut free, soya free, wheat free

This was inspired by a delicious spinach cake that I had last weekend with Anna del Conte and which will be found in her new Vegetables all'Italiana book which will be out next year. Meanwhile, to try some of Anna's equally delicious free from recipes see our FreeFrom all'Italiana - Primi book which came out last year. More information here – or buy direct from Amazon.

Serves 6 the-alt-name


  • 400g fine green beans
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 x 30g tins of anchovies with their oil
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g green or rainbow chard
  • 6 large eggs
  • 100g fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2–4 largish tomatoes
  • salt, pepper and herbes de Provence


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 and line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Top and tail the beans, cut them in half and steam for 3–4 minutes until they have softened slightly but still have some crunch. Set aside.
  3. Slice the leek finely.
  4. Chop the anchovies and put in a frying pan with their oil, the extra olive oil and the finely sliced leek. Cook gently for 5–8 minutes until the anchovies have disintegrated and the leeks are soft.
  5. Meanwhile, wash and chop the chard with its stalks quite small and steam it for 3–4 minutes. Again you want to soften it but you want it to retain some texture.
  6. Tip the beans, leeks and anchovies and chard into a bowl and mix well.
  7. Beat the eggs and add to the mixture followed by the breadcrumbs.
  8. Mix all well and season generously with freshly ground black pepper (you should not need any salt because of the anchovies) then spoon into the cake tin. Smooth off the top.
  9. Slice the tomatoes fairly thinly and lay the slices on a baking tray. Season lightly with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few Herbes de Provence.
  10. Put both in the oven and bake the cake for 45 minutes or until it is set. Check the tomatoes which will probably be ready in around 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Then unmould the cake onto a plate and decorate with the the slices of tomato.
  12. Serve at room temperature with a green salad.

    July 2017

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