Sunday, 2 May 2010

'Wild garlic' potato cakes with white bean ragout

We've been out gallivanting again. No historic houses or castles, this time it was the turn of the Scottish countryside. But before we leaped into the car, a little preparation had to be done. We made a flask of black coffee and D made some egg salad rolls which included our first harvest of 'lollo rosso' from the 3 by 3 garden plot. Then it was about having the right outfit on. As it was not the sunniest of days, I put on my raincoat and my walking boots and off we went.

There were so many cyclists and motor-bikers on the road loving the windy Scottish country roads. We stopped at various locations covering different postcodes including Dumbarton, Stirlingshire and Perthshire. Many of the places we stopped at today, we've visited before such as Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Crianlarich, Tarbet, Ardlui, Callander (bridge below) where there is a colourful all-year round Christmas shop. Our final stop was Doune, where my husband gifted me with a lovely framed picture, which I will show off later in the week.
We also walked up 'the Queen’s View' reputed to be one of Scotlands most outstanding beauty spots and most photographed. On a clear day, unlike today of course, you can get a panoramic view of the mountainous scenery and the blue loch. Breathless. All this walking and fresh air in my lungs, as much as I am enjoying it, wears me out when I get home.
So you can imagine that I was so glad that I made these last night. Oven baked the 'wild garlic' potato cakes and a bean ragout made with the carrots I bought at the farmers markets yesterday.
Both the wild garlic potato cakes and white bean ragout were flavourful. I especially liked the subtle hint of the chilli in the ragout hitting the back of my throat and the sweetness of the sun dried tomatoes. The carrots also still had a bit of bite, I like them that way.
White bean ragout
Serves 2 - 3
1 x 400g can of white beans, drained and rinsed. I used haricot beans.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 carrot cut into small pieces
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch of chilli flakes
400ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes in oil, minced
1 tablespoon wild garlic, minced (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, carrot, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for about 8 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock and cook for a few minutes until the onions and carrots are tender. Add the beans, sun dried tomatoes and wild garlic if using and cook until the beans are warmed through. This dish can be reheated.
This is a simple recipe. I mashed about 500g - 750g Maris piper potatoes (no cream or butter required), added about two tablespoons of minced wild garlic, seasoned with S&P and then shaped into 8 potato cakes. Put them in the fridge to chill, then when I was ready to eat them. I heated a lightly greased baking tray in the oven before putting the potatoes onto it to bake. After about 15 minutes, I turned them over to bake for another 10 minutes.


  1. Very nice potato cakes and white bean ragout.Love the picture of the Queen'sView.

  2. The potato cakes look delicious. Sounds like a perfect meal after a day in the country.

  3. Thank Kiran.
    Shame about the weather as the Queens View could have been a much clearer view.

    Thank you Rose. They certainly were packed with flavour. And easy to put together after a long day out.

  4. Oah yes, the white bean ragout and those potato cakes look delightful, I will give the cakes a try possibly tonight. I love your site! I especially love the conversions you have on the side, because although I live in Devon, I tend to measure American. :D

  5. It sounds like you had fun. I was galavanting around the Scottish countryside yesterday too. I would have loved to come home to your dish. Very tasty indeed and I loved your potato cakes. We had substandard pizza, becuase I was too tired and sore to contemplate cooking. Oh, I kept my eyes peeled for wild garlic yesterday, but no look. I am going to have another look at your photo again :)

  6. There is so much wild garlic growing in my neighbourhood (a village outside Zurich, Switzerland) that I can smell it from my house.

    Thanks for these recipes. Fantastic.

  7. Thank you so much Eve.
    I'm a bit mixed up with my measurement and those on the side may not be perfect, but I think they are pretty close. When I bake, esp muffins I tend to use American cups, but when doing British dishes its always grams.

    Jacqueline Thank you.
    I am relaly glad I made these in adance as I really was shattered, but you have baby Cooper too, so your even busier.
    Pizza sounds good to me too, and perhaps that would have been my second choice!
    I have to admit, when I was in Fife and Perth recently, I had not seen any wild garlic to speak of. those I have spotted have all been in the West and South of Scotland. The wild garlic should now be sprouting its lovely white star like flowers. It looks a bit like Lily of the Valley, but pls do be careful not to confuse as lily as the valley is poisonous. I do hope you find some soon, before it toughens up and disappears. The garlic scent is a giveaway, just give it a gentle rub too.

  8. Thank you P M Doolan.
    You are so lucky to have some literally on your doorstep. Please do try and make the most of it whilst its still in season.

  9. I've got really behind with my blog-reading, so have just had a lovely time catching up with all your gorgeous photos and recipes :) I'm looking forward to trying out the sausages and the ginger cakes in particular!

  10. Sounds like a wonderfully yummy meal after a day filled with beautiful sights and sounds! Peace, Stephanie

  11. Hi Lysy,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments. I hope your ginger cakes turn out better than mine, though they tasted great!

    Thank you Stephanie.

  12. These recipes sound so tasty and your trips around your local areas are as enchanting as always.

  13. Thank you Kella.
    One of these wekends I am just going to sit back and enjoy the garden plot. And get some of that housework done. I've never been house proud (or should I say flat proud).


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