Wild Irish Garlic and Smoked Salmon Boxty

When I was younger, St. Patricks Day was probably my favourite day after Christmas and Halloween (yes, I am weird and I LOVE Halloween). We used to have a big family dinner in my house, and my birthday falls a few days later so I was given lots of presents! I also like this time of year because it sort of marks the end of winter, the days are longer, daffodils are out in full force and everything looks amazing.

There is actually no specific food dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day but I am using it as an excuse to cook one of Ireland’s oldest and most authentic dishes, boxty! I am ashamed to say that I had never in my life tried traditional boxty, but I have been quite curious about it for a while.In the Oxford dictionary, Boxty (Bacstaí in Irish) is defined as “A type of bread made using grated raw potatoes and flour, originally in Ireland”.

I find that potatoes are a bit of a lost food. They are in fact very healthy and naturally low in fat but they don’t seem to get recognised for this and I seldom see them included in any healthy eating recipes. They contain a significant amount of Vitamin C and almost twice the amount of fibre as brown rice. Maybe there should be some sort of potato revolution to inform people of the wonder of the humble potato! More information on the health properties of the potato can be found here: http://www.potato.ie/nutritional-information/

Wild garlic is a great herb which is in season at the moment and can be found in wooded areas, and you will usually smell it before you see it. It has a white flower similar to a bluebell, and can be picked from damp and wooded areas. I have a big bunch of it at home and I’m looking forward to making a big jar of pesto with the rest of it!

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Ingredients:

200g raw grated potato (about 2 potatoes)

250g mashed potato

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100ml milk

200g smoked salmon, cut into small strips

A few leaves of wild garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper

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Method:

Grate the potato and press it in a sieve to remove some of the liquid starch. Place on some kitchen paper for a minute or two to further absorb the liquid.

In a large bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder and combine with all of the potato (mashed and grated), milk and seasoning. When this has come together to form a thick mixture, add in the salmon and wild garlic and gently combine.

Heat  a gridle pan and add some butter and a little olive oil.

Add a spoonful at a time and pat down so it forms a circular shape just over 1cm thick. You can make these as large or as small as you want.

Fry (preferably on a griddle pan) on a medium heat for about 10 minutes on both sides until golden brown.

These would be great served simply with a poached egg and some mixed leaves as a hearty St. Patrick’s Day brunch.

“Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan; if you can’t make a boxty, you’ll never get a man”