Monday, 16 April 2012

Quick Jack-by-the-hedge rostis

 If there was any doubt that Spring hadn't quite flickered into life, the tangerines-and-cream scatter of an Orange tip butterfly hurrying along a quiet country path is a firm chime of the seasonal clock. It'll be one of the first spring butterflies that you'll see; it's certainly one of the most striking. At this time of year one should also keep an eye out for its citrus-lemon spring cousin, the Brimstone.
  Orange tips and I share a similar culinary pursuit: Garlic mustard. It's also known as Jack-by-the-hedge, and the leaves are the common food source of the butterfly's caterpillar. In the spirit of polite consideration, I always inspect each leaf carefully before picking, and only ever take a few leaves from a single plant.

2 large potatoes (there's no need to peel them)
2 red onions
A good handful of finely chopped Jack-by-the-hedge (Garlic mustard) leaves
Lemon zest (optional)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1 Grate the potatoes and onion. Over a bowl, squeeze the mixture in batches between both hands to remove as much water as you can (the drier the grated mix, the more likely your rostis will hold together). Stir in the chopped Jack-by-the-Hedge leaves, lemon zest and season well.
2 heat a large, well oiled frying pan. Use your hands to shape four saucer sized patties, then carefully place in the pan. Use a spatula to tidy up any crumbly edges. Leave for 5-7 minutes, without moving the rostis.
3 Place a large plate over the frying pan, then turn the rostis onto the plate. Use a fish slice to slide them back into the pan, then cook for a further 5-7 minutes on the other side until golden. Great served with a poached egg on top.

Here's another Garlic mustard recipe...

>>> Baba ganoush with garlic mustard flowers <<<


  1. would love to make something with jack-by-the-hedge. i forage for berries and edible flowers, but am not so good with my herbs, i always imagine accidentally picking poison hemlock or something equally deadly. i have to study my edible herb books more diligently!

  2. Jack-the-hedge is quite an easy one to spot; the pretty white flowers help identify it too. I know what you mean about Hemlock - I tend to avoid the Umbellifers (Wild carrot, wild chervil etc). Thanks for the comment!

  3. So so beautiful, I love the colours

  4. Hey, so happy to have seen your pin on pininterest. Fantastic photographer and forager! Don't ever put "Lords and Ladies" in your mouth. I touched it(baby leaf) to my lip once, that was bad enough. I haven't had courage to try wild carrot nor have I met Jack yet.