Potato cakes with olives and poached eggs


These crisp and tender potato cakes are divine served with softly poached eggs and a punchy salsa verde. The trick to neat poached eggs is to use the freshest eggs you can find. If you make the potato cakes a few hours ahead, cooking them will be a breeze.

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes


  • 500 g (1 lb2 oz) small waxy potatoes, such as charlotte or pink fir apple
  • 2 French shallots, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50 g ( oz) pecorino cheese, shaved
  • 5 very fresh eggs
  • 1 heaped tablespoon potato flour or plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3–4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons salsa verde dressing


Scrub the potatoes and boil in their skins in salted water for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, allow to cool for 15 minutes and then crush roughly with a fork. Add the shallots, olives, parsley and half the pecorino. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt, and taste the mixture to make sure the seasoning is balanced. Beat 1 egg and mix into the potatoes along with the flour. Form the mixture into eight flat cakes using floured hands.

Space the potato cakes out on a plate and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before cooking, generously brush the potato cakes with olive oil on both sides. Heat a large frying pan and slowly brown the potato cakes for about 4 minutes on each side, in batches if necessary. Keep warm while you poach the eggs.

Heat a deep frying pan of water until it just reaches boiling point, then reduce the heat so the base is covered in tiny bubbles. Carefully crack in the eggs, one by one, as gently as you can. Poach the eggs for 3 minutes until the whites are just set, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Place two potato cakes on each serving plate and slide a poached egg on top. Spoon the salsa verde over the egg and sprinkle with pecorino shavings.