Recipe provided by Thomasina Miers
These are perfect for eating on lazy weekends and also feel like they are doing you the world of good.
I love sorrel for its lemony sharpness. If you can’t get hold of it, use spinach with a few squeezes of lemon juice. I usually double up when making the basil and sorrel oil, because it makes a great dressing for soups and salads, as well as a last-minute pesto for a midweek supper.
800g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, unpeeled and cut into even chunks
100g sorrel leaves (or use spinach and lemon juice, see recipe introduction)
bunch of basil, leaves picked
1 garlic clove
8 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to fry
4 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
plus extra to serve (optional)
poached or fried eggs
Cover the potatoes in cold salted water and bring to the boil, then cook until just beginning to fall apart. Drain and leave to steam dry. Meanwhile roughly chop the sorrel or spinach, shred the basil leaves and whizz them in a blender with the garlic. Stir in half the olive oil and the Parmesan and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, pull off their skins (I sometimes bake them into crisps). Place the flesh in a large bowl and crush with a potato masher until just broken down. Stir through two-thirds of the green sauce and season generously to taste; you want it packed with flavour. Shape the potato mixture into 8–10 peach-sized balls, flatten out between your palms and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Stir the rest of the olive oil into the rest of the green sauce and set aside.
Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a high heat with a splash of oil and add half the cakes, making sure they’ve got a bit of room. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1½–2 minutes each side until a golden crust has formed. They can break up with rough handling, so treat them gently. Repeat with the remaining butter and potato mix.
To serve put a couple of the cakes on each plate and top with a fried or poached egg.
Spoon over the remaining green sauce and, if you like, a little extra grated Parmesan and a few sorrel or spinach leaves.
+Why not try a sweet potato rosti?
Coarsely grate 500g peeled sweet potato and 1 small onion, toss with 1 tsp of salt and leave to drain. Meanwhile put ½ small garlic clove, 2 large handfuls of parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice in a food processor and whizz to a smooth purée with 75–100ml extra-virgin olive oil. Season. Beat an egg, season and mix into the squeezed-out sweet potato; the mix will be very delicate so if this frightens you beat in 2 tbsp white spelt flour and ¼ tsp baking powder. Divide into 4 and pat out into discs. Fry gently in olive oil until crisp and golden on both sides. Serve with poached eggs, sliced avocado, the parsley oil and, if you like, fried slices of chorizo. Feeds 4.
This recipe and more delicious recipes from Thomasina Miers can be found in: Home Cook: Over 300 Delicious Fuss-Free Recipes by Thomasina Miers (Guardian Faber, £25) is out now.