nigel’s top ten – potato pancakes with dill and yoghurt sauce

these little cheesy potato cakes are served with a herby yoghurt and described by nigel slater as “a vegetarian answer to the fishcake” which, as you can see, was not how i viewed them.

the grated potatoes are mixed with crumbled feta, grated carrot and dill plus egg to bind. this felt a bit austere as a mealso i decided to do them as a breakfast, with smoked salmon to add a bit of luxury.

so, how did i get on?

it’s an incredibly easy dish to pull together and is a good option if you have house guests and want to serve something a bit different for breakfast. personally i found them very rich – the feta in the cakes and the yoghurt sauce all contribute to this – and was pleased to have the salmon as an extra part of the dish. i think i’d have struggled to have them on their own which makes me think about how to serve them to a vegetarian – perhaps some horseradish and beetroot would lift the yoghurt sauce enough to balance it all out?

the final verdict:

would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of nigel’s top ten? no – potatoes are never high on my list of things to eat.

would i try this recipe again in the future? no, i think i’ll stick to my much-loved beetroot rosti, which is also good with smoked salmon.

nigel slater’s potato pancakes with dill and yoghurt sauce (may 2009) makes 6, enough for 2

250g potatoes

1 medium-sized carrot

200g feta

2 heaped tablespoons of dill, chopped

2 eggs

olive oil

for the herb sauce:

6 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt

2 heaped tablespoons of chopped mint and parsley

scrub the potatoes and the carrot then grate them coarsely. this is best done in a food processor. squeeze any moisture from the shredded potatoes with your fists then season with black pepper. crumble the feta over the potatoes and carrot and add the dill. beat the eggs just enough to mix them, then stir them into the potatoes.

warm a shallow layer of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. remove a large spoonful of the potato mixture, squash it gently into a patty and lower it into the hot oil. repeat this with as many as you can get in, leaving space to flip them. do not attempt to move the patties until they have formed a crust on the underside. carefully flip each patty with a palette knife or fish slice. they may collapse a little, but just push them back into shape. when both sides are golden, lift and drain briefly on kitchen paper then serve. to make the herb sauce, mix the ingredients and season with a little salt.