Potato Cake Topped with Ham, Mushrooms and Pesto

An adaptation of the Alpine classic Rosti. Designed to be made with cooked potatoes, it's equally good made from raw.

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Preparation time 5mins
Cooking time 15mins
Equipment A large frying pan, preferably non-stick; a small pan; a stick or jug blender; a grater

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Ingredients
1 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
4-5 potatoes. Large, cooked, whole – Maris Pipers work well
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into large chunks
200g cooked, lean ham, chopped into large squares
25g fresh parmesan, shaved or grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pesto dressing
A small handful of fresh basil leaves and stalks
30g olive or rapeseed oil
30ml water
1 garlic clove
20g pine nuts, toasting optional

Instructions

1 Make the pesto dressing. Firstly, toast the pine nuts. This is optional but adds greater depth of flavour. Now add all the ingredients to a jug liquidiser or jug if using a stick blender. Blend until you reach your desired texture; the longer you blend, the smoother the dressing. Set aside (this can be made 24 hours in advance).

2 Now grate the potatoes. If you're using raw potatoes, place them on a kitchen towel and give them a good squeeze to remove unwated excess water. Season the potatoes. 

3 Heat the frying pan and add the oil. When hot, throw in the grated potato and, with a spatula, flatten the potato so that it covers the surface of the pan. This should be approx 3-4cm thick.

4 For 3mins keep the heat high and then reduce it for 2mins. When you can see the potato on the sides of the pan colouring, it's time to turn the potato cake. Either place a plate on the potato and invert it, or use two spatulas.

5 Now it's turned, using your separate pan, add a little more oil and cook the mushrooms for approx 3mins. When cooked, add the ham.

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6 After another 5-8mins on the heat, your potato cake should be golden brown. Add the mushrooms and ham to the top, drizzle with pesto and parmesan, and serve immediately.