Ground Elder croquetas

One of our favourite comfort foods.  Who could fail to love crispy coated parcels of melting cheese and wild herbs.  Based on a classic Spanish recipe and perfect for tapas these croquetas could be flavoured with many different wild herbs. It all depends on your taste and the time of year.  Wild garlic would be great but we really love the parsley like flavour of Ground elder.

It’s a great time of year to eat your garden weeds!

Ground Elder Aegopodium podagrariaground elder

A perennial plant that can spread to form dense patches. The leaves grow to approximately 30cm tall, the flowering stalks to 70cm. The leaves grow straight out of the ground in early spring. They have a grooved stalk which divides into 3 and each of these 3 stalks has 3 leaves on it. These oval leaves have a serrated edge and a pointed end. There are also smaller leaves with fewer leaflets. In early summer the plant sends up a grooved flowering stem. This branches and has umbels of white flowers (sometimes pinkish) which smell a bit like parsley and celery with a hint of aniseed.

Ground elder and cheese croquetas  makes 12

Ingredients
75g Butter
75g  Plain flour
450ml  Milk
250g Strong cheddar cheese, grated
50g Young Ground elder leaves and stalks chopped finely
1tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
100g (4 oz) stale white breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying

Method
Melt the butter in a pan, Add the flour and cook, stirring gently, for 1 minute. Take it off the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Now return to the heat and cook until smooth and thick. Add the cheese and chopped Ground elder, stir well, cover and set aside to cool completely.

Once cooled and firm shape the mixture in to 12 small sausage shapes, dip each one in to the beaten egg then in to the breadcrumbs. Heat your deep frying oil to 185°C and cook the croquettes for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.  Serve warm.

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A few photos from this weekends Wildfood weekend course where everyone enjoyed some croquetas.

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