I’ve never been to an English Pub, or to Britain (I’m not counting the 9 hours being stuck in Heathrow airport on the way to Bangalore), nor have I ever made Welsh Rabbit – until now. This was completely inspired by fellow Food52-er cooklynveg and the winning recipe for Welsh Rarebit.
My version used only the few key components to create a Welsh Rabbit: toast, cheese, and spinach as suggested by the original. This was a fulfilling midnite snack after an early (and very light) dinner, which comprised of bits of food not devoured by Big Brother and Little Sister. If you’ve seen how they eat, you can imagine how few scrimps of food were left. Once Little Sister begrudgingly went to sleep, I whipped up two pieces of rye, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and frozen spinach into a Welsh Rabbit of sorts. Oh, and freshly ground black pepper was added on top, and oh boy was it pungent and spicy after a trip under the broiler! The heat must have super-activated the essence of the peppercorn, it felt like tiny ninjas were fighting in my mouth, but in a good way.
What’s the deal with the spelling? Rabbit or Rarebit, make up your mind! There’s a history behind the evolution of the name. I’ll keep it short, promise.
This play on words began long ago. The Welsh were of a substantial class and enjoyed hunting rabbit, the worker(s) of the Welshmen would not enjoy the bounty of a hunt. The workers made their “rabbit” with bread and cheese. How it became known as a “Welsh” rabbit was a poke at how they were poor hunters, as this would be the dinner following their rabbit-less stint in the bush. At some point, you smarties can let me know when exactly, the term rarebit replaced rabbit. Funny enough, any time I’ve heard the name it’s still pronounced rabbit.
Rabbits and ninjas aside, this was something interesting to make and I will be on the hunt for a restaurant serving Welsh Rarebit.